Simply put, buildings are the best form of branding one could ever conjure up and think of. If we were to delve into the topic of branding and marketing, this would be a never-ending post. But 2 topics that are often disassociated, and don’t have forgotten links are architecture and branding. Due to our consumerist nature and failed attempts at becoming a circular economy (another conversation for another day), we’ve been conditioned to associate branding and marketing to the physicality of materialism - fashion, vehicles, objects, often forgetting about our built environment and spaces. I repeat…Architects are the best Marketers. But what are you selling you ask? Buildings of course! Well buildings and a lot more frankly speaking.
Not only do we imagine and conceptualise spaces and structures, we then proceed to design them. When built, our spaces and structures do all the talking without uttering a single word especially when we’re not there to explain the layout, the concept or why Vinyl was used instead of carpet. Although this is just one side of the coin, the flip side is that through marketing, a message has to be delivered. That is essentially the aim of marketing, delivering a message to offer a service or product whether executed visually, written or orally. Marketers should represent their brand, what they stand for and what they believe in.
Although they are essentially two different disciplines, a building is also a brand. Using the same kind of thought-process, strategy and principles, we begin at the same starting points – questioning the clients before we begin to question ourselves and offer a solution. How would they want it and how do they intend to use it? How can I help them? As architects, our buildings and spaces are part of our branding whether we know it or not. Everything we design, draw up and send out is our brand that we market to the world. Whether we incorporate a design feature that serves as an inconspicuous signature within the space designed, the details, design elements and materials palette, these are all a part of our branding. Effectively combined, they deliver a message to not only our clients but most importantly to the users of the space. They will begin to buy into the spatial layout, the spaces, fixtures and fittings, into the atmosphere. Now that is Marketing.
Besides the physical manifestations of our ideas in the built environment, not only are our buildings a brand in their own right, but as architects we are beginning to notice the requests for branding from our clients. We understand the importance of effective communication, especially with visuals and imagery through the power of storytelling. With our clients being the centre of our projects, they want to be able to connect with their end-users and audience, and essentially want them to buy into their brand, into their space and into them. They want to tell their own story, create a journey and an experience. This requires creating an emotional connection by creating a sensory experience through colours, layouts, textures, lighting and so forth, the list continues. As a result the users feel connected, considered and they feel important. As you guessed, this ofcourse affects their performance as a workforce, their mindset and their overall well-being which reflects on the brand and the space itself.