PURPOSE DRIVEN DESIGN: Aligning Brand, Place, and Culture
Written by Jeff Winter, SVP of Business Development and
Melissa S. Myrick, Director of Business Initiatives-NewGround
When it comes to successful service delivery, alignment is perhaps the most important strategy you can invoke in your organization. It ensures that everyone on your team is in sync and understands the top objectives for your organization.
How does alignment occur?
Alignment happens when organizations combine the three primary elements that make up their corporate DNA: their Culture, their Brand, and lastly their physical/virtual Place. Your Brand, Place, and Culture are building blocks to the overall success of your company.
In line with the theme of design-thinking, it’s important that when designing a space, it reflects your brand and culture in the location where you are going to attract the perfect consumers and employees.
In the third installment of our series, we will look at how linking Brand, Place, and Culture together is essential to ensure that your culture is driving your brand so that the physical manifestation of your brand is reflective in your space.
Let’s dive in a little deeper into what aligning these three key elements means.
City & County Credit Union in Eagan, MN
Your brand is your promise to the world—it’s the most powerful when it’s reflected in both your employees and your space. Creating your signature brand is essentially formulating how you'd like the world to perceive what your company has to offer while building those connections and associations within your target audience. The goal should be to make this happen as authentically and often as possible.
You see, your brand is woven into everything. Your space should be an expression of your brand that demonstrates who you are to the outside world. Before they buy products or services, people buy brands.
Now, more than ever, it’s essential to have a recognizable brand. Your brand should set you apart and make you stand out from all the noise. It should provide value and tell the story of your company's reason for existence genuinely to connect with people on a deeper level. The key is carrying that unique brand through every piece of what you do—including your physical and virtual spaces.
The place is where the “who” of your brand is translated into a “what,” guiding the feeling consumers have when they leave your space, and the pride employees feel while working there.
TTCU in Tulsa, OK
An organization’s physical (and even virtual) presence is one of the most prominent components of an effective service delivery strategy as it relates to design.
Your space communicates to the market you serve and has a significant impact on your ability to attract the target market you want.
Think of your space as a billboard—it defines who you are and must be designed to meet your overall strategic objectives when attracting those in your market.
NewGround Headquarters in St. Louis, MO
Your brand and your place need to inform your culture, and vice versa. This ensures that your people—your most coveted asset and those who carry the thread of your brand to the consumer—are aligned with your company’s goals.
Your culture affects your place and your brand—permeating everything you do. It determines things such as who you hire, how you work, and how you interact with consumers, vendors, and with each other. It’s essential that your space not only reflects your culture but that it reinforces it.
Think of your culture as your brand, in-person. It is how your employees live out your brand. The design of your space must uniquely accommodate the culture you’re working to create.
When approaching a new design, culture is an integral part of the conversation. It’s crucial to determine what type of culture you want to create so that the design can reinforce your culture.
For Alignment: Be Purposeful
By incorporating a framework that includes your Brand, Place, and Culture, you can design a space that furthers your business strategy and reinforces your unique differentiators to help increase your competitive edge. When your organization is aligned, you are set up to grow and ultimately transform.
Stay tuned for the final installment in our series, Transform!