March 26, 2014
What does the design of an office space have to do with a brand? If you get to the mindset where you start to think of your people as your brand, then where they work, how they work and creative energy they bring to their work matters more than the widget you are selling as a result. Great Brand Leaders should be looking at the culture as an opportunity to win in the market place. No matter how good your promise is, if your company is not set up to deliver that promise, everything comes crashing down. The brand story told within the company is even more important than what you might tell the market through your advertising. Managing organizational culture is very challenging. As you move along the Brand Love Curve from Indifferent to Like It to Love It and on to Beloved status, you need to make sure the culture keeps pace with where the brand is.
When I started working back in the mid 90s, I worked for General Mills where we had this confined area where we must have jammed around 15 offices and another 12 cubicles for our department. The cubicle walls were an ugly turquoise, almost falling down, some stained, and we had just enough space for a chair and computer. There’s no way this atmosphere inspired any creativity. In fact, in such a drab atmosphere, it crushed any good ideas. It was pure cubicle hell.
For a few decades now, companies have been getting more and more creative with their office space. It started with “cute” names for meeting rooms, then went to “crash zones”, then to funky chairs. Google has taken this to a new level with the launch of their new office in Toronto. As you look at these photos, I urge you to take some of these ideas as possible inspiration for your own office space.
The center point of most company culture’s starts with the cafeteria. Here’s what Google
Taking a modern approach to the old diner booth, these set up great spots for a quick informal meeting.
To inspire creativity, Google takes Play to the next level, with a pool table, video games a tent for meetings and a putting green on the roof top.
To watch a video of the new Google Toronto office space, watch below.
What I want to do is challenge Brand Leaders to start to think of the people on their team as the core part of the Brand, even if you have a patent. As brands struggle to find their competitive advantage and uniqueness, maybe it will come from your people.
The Better your People, the Better the work. And the Better the results you see.
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