NavigateWe often see superb examples of branded environments in retail and sports venues. Retailers that have a strong brand message incorporate finishes, materials, displays, imagery, and lighting to intuitively lead the user and promote the brand’s value. In addition, a properly branded environment can help build a culture within an organization where employees can live the brand, increasing retention and creating buy-in.

Many health care and industrial organizations struggle with branding their physical environments, which can be very complex. As an example, in health care, no matter how advanced the level of care and state-of-art technologies used to treat patients, if the visitor and employee experiences do not reflect the products delivered it can lead to a less than stellar brand perception.

Maximizing the potential of a brand’s physical space is important because it will likely result in a better customer experience that builds positive brand opportunities and generate consistent messages unique to an organization. So, how does a brand create a tangible brand expression that positively influences a user’s experience at a facility?

How to Maximize Brand Perception

Although signs are the core of any facility branding system, it’s easy to go beyond the literal use of branded signs and logo systems. We recommend looking for ways in which your facilities can incorporate elements consistent with the brand that speak to the user. This could include some basic application of color palettes, secondary graphics, and imagery. You can also take it further by incorporating visible information zones, interactive technology displays, physical customer touch points, brand sculpture, streetscaping, and architectural cues to guide the customer through the entire process.


Where to start with brand perception

Where do you start? The easiest way to understand your own facility needs is to go out and visit a few of your sites and think about the experience from the customer’s perspective. Be impartial and honest: are the environments consistent, do they adequately promote your brand, or any brand at all? And, as you consider the state of mind of the customer, was the navigation process from arrival to service to departure easy? Was an opportunity taken to showcase your brand through the experiences and encounters in your facility environments?

Keep in mind environments need to fully reflect your brand promise in ways that positively impact the user. Identify areas that could use help with wayfinding, information, and customer touch points. If you find there is room for improvement you are well on your way to maximizing your brand perception.

Looking to learn more about the science of wayfinding and signage? Visit our Environmental Branding page.

John Dohner is a program director at Monigle. He is improving how people navigate environments one building, or stadium, at a time.

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John Dohner
April 18, 2014 By John Dohner