Discover branding strategies to stand out in a shared office environment. Learn how to create a brand identity, personalise your space, and use communal areas for growth and visibility.
Serviced offices are growing in popularity in the UK. The pandemic, hybrid working, and cost of living crisis have changed the way we work. Businesses are looking for flexibility, and easy in/easy out terms are often more attractive than being locked into a 5 year lease. Serviced office space also allows businesses to scale up or down as the market demands.
According to the Mintel UK Serviced Offices Market Report 2023 the UK supply of serviced offices has increased over the past five years, in tandem with growing demand. A report by The Guardian earlier this year backs this up. It says that flexible workspace provider IWG has been expanding in suburban locations since the pandemic. This is a direct response to the cost of living crisis as employees aim to cut commuting costs.
Transparent, all-inclusive cost structures are a big attraction of serviced offices. Take, for example, The Business Village. Our monthly fee includes various essentials from electricity, through to security and cleaning. Plus, we make it simple for tenants to arrange their IT and telecoms through an onsite provider. We also have a mix of both formal and informal meeting spaces for tenants to use. Our whole ethos is to make life easier for our tenants so they can get on with running their businesses.
One challenge in a shared office environment is how to stand out as an individual business. Serviced offices tend to have their own brand identity and colour schemes. So, brands can lose their own identity if there’s limited opportunity for personalisation.
At The Business Village, our tenants have the benefit of a blank canvas. We hand over offices with white walls and give businesses the freedom to personalise. By using on-brand furniture and wall colour, our tenants can truly share their brand.
But it’s important to remember that branding is more than a striking logo and colour scheme.
We’re all familiar with iconic logos like the golden arches of McDonalds and the Nike swoosh. They’re memorable but there are other elements to those brands too. It includes things like their values, behaviours, and how they make customers feel.
A strong brand identity will communicate your values and USP, even before a formal sale. It will generate trust, attract people, and resonate with those sharing similar values. How you reply to emails, the way you answer the phone, and whether you follow through on promises are all important considerations.
And, if your business is in a serviced office environment, it’s going to take a little more effort to stand out.
When working on your branding, consider the difference between brand image and identity. Brand image is how customers perceive you and your services. Brand identity is the image you want to project to others.
The aim is to create a strong brand which customers will recognise and remember. Think about the following points:
Your physical workspace plays an important role in building brand identity. This can be easy to overlook in a serviced office setup where everything is provided. So, we’ve put together a few tips to help you stand out at The Business Village:
1. Creating a consistent visual identity
It’s likely that you thought long and hard about colour when designing a logo and website. To keep your brand consistent think about that colour scheme for your office space. It could be wall colour, but also more subtle elements like desks, mugs, and rugs.
2. Personalising your space
The layout of your office has a psychological impact on customers and employees. It could be a fun and quirky brand, with an open-plan space to encourage creativity. Or you may want a professional image with private offices to convey confidentiality. How you use a blank office canvas will say much about your brand identity.
3. Developing a brand voice
Your brand voice is what you say, and how you say it, and should reflect your values. Decide whether you want people to see you as friendly, funny, professional, or formal. Then make sure you’re consistent when communicating across all platforms and customer interactions. This will help build trust and recognition.
4. Incorporating your products and services
Think about incorporating elements of your products or services into your workspace design. There are some great examples of larger brands doing this. Costa Coffee has created areas in the office which mirror coffee shop locations. Other companies such as IKEA and Google also have interesting office branding.
5. Extending your brand beyond the office
In a serviced office setup, it can be difficult knowing who’s behind the closed doors. The communal corridors can be blank, uninspiring places. At The Business Village, we love chatting about ways to extend your brand beyond the office. So please get in touch with your ideas.
6. Making the most of shared facilities
Shared kitchens and other spaces are a big advantage of serviced office environments. Our bistro is a perfect example. The informal meeting space means you can get out of the office and be around other people. You never know who you’ll bump into while picking up your lunch.
7. Engaging in collaboration and networking
Getting to know other businesses can open up so many opportunities. By creating meaningful connections, you’ll naturally cross promote each other. It can also enhance trust and strengthen your reputation. That’s one of the big reasons we encourage you to join our networking meetings and get to know each other.
8. Creating memorable experiences
Giving customers a memorable experience will build an emotional connection with your brand. It starts with the very first interaction and includes ongoing engagement. You can also develop a strong sense of connection through your newsletter and social media.
We’ve witnessed many of our tenants using these strategies to bolster their brand. For example:
We’ve also applied similar techniques ourselves. Partnering with Ginger Fox Studio, we created visual branding to go on our meeting room walls. They did an excellent job with the wall branding for our dedicated Net Zero room too.
Creating a strong brand in a serviced office setting takes thought and planning. But, it’s worth the effort to build your identity and recognition. Keeping your brand message consistent helps develop better customer relationships. It also nurtures brand loyalty and sets the stage for long-term growth.
We always encourage our tenants to add their personal touch to their office. If you have any great ideas for communal spaces, please get in touch with our Business Development Manager, Kevin Steel.
Phone: 01226 249 590