You can spend a lot of money on billboards for the marketing of your organisation, but are you aware of the marketing value of a good building? That your accommodation is an effective three-dimensional means of communication that contributes to the brand experience of your organisation? Not only what suits your appearance, but also what it does to the employees, customers and co-residents in a building.
Is a building some kind of necessary evil, the responsibility of which you have placed with the facility or real estate department? Or do you regularly map out the possibilities of how your building can work for your branding? How exterior and interior make the DNA of your organisation and brand tangible for your employees and visitors through architecture and design.
“The learn/work environment is extremely important in terms of conveying messages about the values and culture of an organisation.” (René Stevens)
A building is an important identifier. It makes visible what your organisation stands for. It has a direct influence on behaviour and has a strong symbolic value. A building communicates, intentionally or unintentionally. There are many more options than just putting a logo on the façade and applying the corporate colours.
Who does not know the examples where the building has an almost greater brand awareness than the brand of the organisation that houses it. Think of the Chrysler building in New York, the Inktpot in Utrecht, the Van Nelle factory in Rotterdam. And who does not know the organisations which you do not recognize on the outside of a building, but you feel the vibe upon entering and are gripped by what you experience.
A billboard is more than a sign outside, it is intended to touch people and thus draw attention to your product or organisation.
An organisation has multiple means to draw attention to itself through the management focus areas Operation, Finance, Sales & Marketing and Human Resources. And it may surprise you, but you can unite or reinforce all these elements in and with your accommodation.
The way in which an organisation is housed says a lot about the organisation, just as clothes say something about the person wearing them. A building is therefore much more than a functional shelter. It makes tangible what you stand for as an organisation. It stimulates the imagination and inspires action.
The building represents a code that depends on the situation and context. You can compare it with a dress code. It is not (only) “dress to impress” but (also) “dress to inspire”. The AV-Strategic Alignment Matrix© of ATELIER V shows the relationship between the business approach and accommodation performance.
It is about what a building does for and with people. The building as an image-building and as a team-building helps with ‘living the brand’. An accommodation that enables employees to deliver the service and/or product you expect, attracts and retains the right employees (‘War for Talent’), because it stimulates cooperation and exchange of information and knowledge, radiates congruence between organisational objectives, products/services and employees, arranged according to The New Way of Working, time and place independently, or with individual fixed workplaces.
“Show me your learn/work environment and I’ll tell you who you are
and how much your employees are actually valued.” (René Stevens)
A consumer who is not aware of the activities of an organisation will assess the organisation on its appearance. Such as website, printing, PR, but also accommodation (location + building). Image is a network of associations in our brain and you can partly influence the perception people have of your learn/work environment.
Accommodation is a tangible and concrete spatial representation of the identity of your organisation. If the mission of the organisation can be experienced through and in the building, this contributes to attracting the right employees who identify with your mission and therefore show a greater involvement that goes beyond their employment contract and as ambassadors help to propagate and realize the mission. It provides brand recognition (Express the brand).
When your organisation stands for money consciousness, it doesn’t make sense when your accommodation radiates grandeur, which automatically evokes the thought “what will it cost” in many people. Or if you are going for sustainability, why have a new office built if the old one apparently still suffices or can be adapted.
From a business perspective, an organisation can show a lot in the field of logistics. Which location have you chosen and what does this mean for the logistics of both employees and products. If it is only accessible by car, you have opted for a modern building, but relocations are the order of the day. These are all examples with which you send a signal to employees and the outside world what you stand for and what the vision and ambition of your organisation is. What the common goal is and why your employees work together every day.
Your accommodation as a 3D billboard to position your organisation to show what you stand for. A building is a matter of mind and heart.
- Accommodation as (part of a) brand. Assess the appearance of your accommodation through the (subjective) eyes of your employees and visitors.
- Understand the concept of corporate identity by understanding people.
- Make the target group(s) explicit in order to effectively use the building as ‘image building’ and ‘team-building’.
- Accommodation is more than a collection of ‘workplaces’. It is about ‘places that work’; inspiring environments that generate energy, where people meet, collaborate and exchange knowledge and information.
- Deploy the right marketing accommodation tools to facilitate and nudge desired behavioural change.
- Image or aesthetic lifespan is one of the three qualities in addition to the functional lifespan (fit for purpose) and technical lifespan (solidity and durability) of a building. This soft side of accommodation can be made objectively measurable, so that image/branding can be used in a targeted manner.
As an organisation, dare to think big, but start small and expand incrementally. Without experimentation, innovation is impossible. Experiment and gradually find out which form and speed of implementation suit the organisation best. Have faith in the process. Like anything new, it takes a bit of trial and error before you get it right, but the payoff is worth it.
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(Video is in Dutch)
Positioning is making choices. What do you show who you are as an organisation and whatnot. A building is more than just a functional and affordable shelter. With accommodation, you contribute to the process of value creation for the occupant of the building. A balance of experience and utility value provides significant added value. How can you use the accommodation for value creation? You have the bookkeeper approach of ‘Measuring is knowing and guessing is missing’ and the entrepreneurial approach of ‘First believe, then see’. Value creation is created by forging both approaches into a jewel. The whole is more than the sum of its parts.
Each choice process is determined by the influence of the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Every person has a preference for ratio or emotion and is, therefore, more likely to be attracted to figures or images. The fact remains that every person has a left and right hemisphere of the brain that influence how we see, experience and judge things.
In the marketing of cars, people understand this and apply it. Do you want a car for the left side of your brain or rather one for the right side? The left side emphasizes “What can the car do?” And the right side emphasizes “What does the car do to you as a person?” The hard rational approach versus the soft feeling approach.
A building is comparable to clothing. What clothing is to a person is a building to an organisation. Both clothing and building must be protective and functional. In the case of clothing, these rational demands are the tip of the iceberg. The emotional demands are the part underwater. A building involves a lot of reason and little emotion. The choice of clothing is mainly about the emotional aspects. About wanting to belong, embellish yourself, express your identity and feel good. Aspects that make the difference in peoples’ choice behaviour. In accommodation, these emotional aspects are heavily underexposed and the ratio predominates.
For decades, there have been only three reasons that accommodation is a topic of discussion for management. Firstly, when the organisation grows. There is a need for extra accommodation. Secondly, turnover is declining and cuts need to be made. Third, the second has been done for too long now that the accommodation is outdated and worn out and there is not enough set aside for replacement.
There is a fourth reason. There is an increasing awareness that accommodation is more than a cost item. Accommodation can also add value. Value for the organisation and for the people working in the building. Accommodation contributes to the common goal and the reason why people work together every day.
Accommodation says a lot about the organisation that uses it. Just like clothing says something about the person wearing it. Accommodation is therefore much more than a functional shelter. It makes tangible what you stand for as an organisation. It is about the message that the building communicates and the effect on people’s behaviour. It stimulates the imagination and inspires action. The successful organisation knows how to address and balance both hemispheres of the brain. She knows the balance for her own organisation and the balance that suits the target group she wants to reach. This gives inspired buildings where it is pleasant to stay. Places that work instead of just workplaces.
Accommodation supports the policy of an organization, it is comparable to a ‘theatre stage’. Entourage, message and props should therefore be congruent. It helps to create a sense of community, it makes people proud and connects. It mobilizes people’s desire to belong and make a difference together. Organizations are more effective if employees are intrinsically motivated and involved and therefore think along and participate. They are the engine and the heart of an organization. Accommodation helps facilitate desirable behaviour. To realize the organizational goals and increase the well-being of the employees. To realize ambitions.
You can use the accommodation for the marketing of your organisation. Accommodation is an effective means of communication that contributes to the brand experience of an organisation. It makes the brand tangible for employees and visitors. A building as a 3D billboard. The synergy between business strategy, corporate branding and accommodation.
A building is a tangible spatial representation of the identity of an organisation. If the mission of an organisation can be experienced through and in the accommodation, this contributes to attracting the right employees. People who identify with the mission and therefore show greater involvement. An involvement that transcends the employment contract.
When an organisation stands for money-conscious, it doesn’t make sense if the accommodation radiates grandeur, which automatically invokes in many people the thought “what will it cost?”. Or when one stands for sustainability and builds a new office, while the old one apparently still meets or can be adapted to the requirements and wishes. You can put on a tracksuit and think it has made you sporty. The same applies when measuring a building. A building can be used as a compelling corset or as seductive lingerie. But it is the culture, management style and exemplary behaviour that ensure that the desired change takes hold and lasts.
Most of the programs of requirements are characterized by an analytical enumeration of requirements and functions. The emotional approach, “what does the building do to you as a person?”, is minimally present or is completely absent. While we still know that a building has a major influence on job satisfaction and therefore the productivity of people. Most buildings are so-called ‘market compliant’ buildings. Or ‘uniform buildings’. Suitable for many but not really distinctive for anyone. How do you make it your own accommodation? You achieve this through the right balance between ratio and emotion, Yin and Yang, male and female.
Passionate management uses its building to make the organisational mission tangible. It is the things people want and feel that breathe life into a soulless building. In this way, accommodation helps to position the organisation and to motivate its users to realize the business goals together. A building with the right dose of relevant emotion inspires employees to behave properly.
A building as a 3D billboard to position your organisation and show what you stand for. It is not reason or emotion. It is about finding your own relationship between reason and emotion. BE YOURSELF!