Physical Locations and Company Branding: Some Things to Consider

Although this is probably old news for most of you, FreshySites recently moved into a beautiful space in downtown Binghamton.  When we first moved into the space, it was completely empty.  Ever since then, we have painted, taken down some walls, changed light fixtures, and brought in a bunch of furniture, in order to make the place our own.  In the process of doing all of this, I have come to realize how important the visual aspect of a physical location is for a company.

This rings true for office space, as well as retail space.  It all needs to go with the overall look and feel that the company is trying to go for–in other words, it should be an extension of the company’s brand.  I suppose this is something that I had always taken for granted in the past, but watching it all happen “from scratch” made me aware of how much thought and decision-making goes into the design of these spaces.  And none of that is time wasted.

Within seconds of walking into a company’s physical location, whether it be their offices or a retail store, you are interpreting so many things about that company.  It only takes a few seconds for you to get a feel for what kind of company it is–are they super-trendy, or more classic?  Are they minimalistic or do they go over the top?  Are they old-fashioned or modern?

Companies need to be cognizant of the fact that these messages are being sent out, and should make sure that the messages are consistent with the impression that they are trying to make.  Every detail needs to be in line with what you’re trying to communicate about who your company is and what it does.  Physical locations provide a great opportunity to make a good impression on people, and they should embody all that your company stands for.  They should work for you, not against you.

Right now I’m thinking of my favorite grocery store.  When I walk in, I am immediately in the produce section, which has the look and feel of a market.  There are wooden crates overflowing with beautiful produce, handwritten signs, and sometimes even pictures of the local farm where the produce came from.  This company is obviously trying to make customers feel like they’re at a sort of farmer’s market, a friendly, locally-minded place that is all about freshness and quality.  If their produce section was all fluorescent lights, with metal everywhere, and the produce in glass cases, I would definitely not get the same vibe.  Even if they were, in reality, all about the produce being from local farms and as fresh as possible, I would not be getting that message because of the way the store was visually.  Make sense?

We are all pretty excited about the way the FreshySites office turned out, and we’re still adding little touches here and there to make it look and feel even more “us.”  But it’s definitely been an adventure, at least for me, to see how all of this stuff comes about.  If you’d like to see how it all turned out at FreshySites, please don’t hesitate to stop in and see us!  We’d love to meet you and show you our new space.