By honing on the power of workplace branding art and sound, organisations can elevate their workplace experience. They can also create engaging dialogues about their values and culture.
Branding is about shaping perceptions. Our first impression of the people we meet is influenced by the way they speak, dress, and behave. Similarly our perception of a business is also formed by factors within the first seven seconds upon entering its workplace.
Aligning space and brand sends a strong message to stakeholders, inviting culturally aligned talent and organic marketing opportunities. Brand experience also presents an innovative use of creative expressions reflecting shared experience and culture. Ultimately offering an authentic insight into the personality of an organisation.
While it was enough for a brand to repeat a consistent message to its stakeholders in the past, today’s successful brands go much deeper. They define and reflect their corporate culture more visibly. This is done by communicating their authentic personality to their audience in more meaningful ways. So projecting a single image or message is no longer sufficient. Organisations must find ways to create a dialogue with their stakeholders and expand the conversation outward. Organisations must interact with people through their workplace branding art and sound. “To be progressive, brands must be much more fluid, involved, and responsive than in the past,” shares Nico Nicoson, an Australian artist we collaborated with for our recent work with Intercom in Sydney. “Authenticity, expression, and innovation have nudged consistency to the side.”
This is also present in Intercom’s new workplace. We engaged Nico, our client’s local team and global business to gain a thorough understanding of their personality, culture, and history. This enabled us to transform culturally symbolic elements into a narrative artwork. The creative work reflects the team’s relationship-driven ethos and includes favourite foods that bind Intercom staff together, as well as fun Sydney sights, and references to the founder’s homelands.
Spaces have an influence on how people think, feel and behave within them. Indigenous rock art and religious artwork are our earliest account of this and contemporary workplaces are no different. Organisations recognise the value in creating physical spaces that reflect the brand’s personality through their workplace branding art and sound. Organisations also express underlying principles, and values of their corporate culture while facilitating the type of digital and social interactions that benefit a dynamic business.
Our network of partner artists offers organisations unique opportunities to represent their brand from creative perspectives. Considering the importance of designing a memorable arrival experience, for example our work with Nutanix features a futuristic mural created by Sydney artist BEASTMAN. They are an artist who assembled the symbology of cloud data with organic elements that reflect the Sydney landscape and interior aesthetics. The company’s emblematic X logo is also creatively displayed at its core, communicating a message of positive disruption and innovation.
Companies are increasingly acting as patrons to the arts in the same way that religious institutions did in the past. This symbiotic relationship is an increasing trend between businesses and artists. It positively reinforces the workplace culture, brand equity and the cultural landscape beyond the office. “It was essential that the workplace reflects the Nutanix business objectives but also the local Sydney team’s unique needs and culture,” shares Janine O’Malley, Nutanix’s ANZ Workplace Manager. “We now view our Sydney workplace as a benchmark for future projects and one of the most admired Nutanix offices in the world.”
In the spirit of creatively reinforcing an organisation’s identity sonic branding engages our mind. It also creates an instant connection between a particular sound and its associated brand: “Auditory neuroscientists have studied how sound has the power to evoke an emotion and create an atmosphere that can trigger some of our most deeply buried memories within three seconds,” shares award-winning composer and sound designer, David Pickvance.
Psychoacoustics help us differentiate soothing sounds. For example gentle patter of rain, ambience of the forest, crashing waves on a beach, that can diffuse distracting noises that can negatively impact our mental health. Our work with Trend Micro takes into consideration people’s mental wellbeing by incorporating scents, visuals, and sounds of nature into the arrival experience. This also enables staff and visitors to enter the office with a relaxed state of mind. Given the positive feedback received from Trend Micro staff, we are exploring more opportunities. We will elevate our clients’ work environments and their organisation through sonic branding.
To sum up, considering the current change our world is experiencing and also scrutiny in the way people use space, it’s important that we continue to deliver meaningful, empathetic workplace experiences that unite people. We need to also unite place with brand culture. The subtle integration of creative and cultural details, as well as other design elements, helps us to create environments that engage emotions and express an organisation’s brand. Ultimately in a more sophisticated and meaningful fashion.
Associate Director, Design