October 13, 2021

November 9, 2017

Why Pairing Interior Design with Your Brand Matters

Brand Execution
Popular

October 13, 2021

Why Pairing Interior Design with Your Brand Matters

Brand Execution
Popular
A brand provides a distinct experience and evokes emotion from customers. This is why it's important for business to care about branding all the way through their interior space. Ask yourself, "What do I want my customers to feel the moment they step in the door?"

Here at Hardy we are always talked about your brand identity and how it must be consistent throughout all aspects of the business. We want to use Starbucks as an example throughout this post on how a brand executes interior design.

Whatever your feelings are on Starbucks, the brand is undeniably a design powerhouse. They believe a coffeehouse should be a welcoming, inviting and familiar place for people to connect. Starbucks designs their interiors capitalizing on this idea by reflecting the unique characteristics of the town/city and neighborhoods they serve. The mission of Starbucks is to create a spectacular experience that is in line with the local culture and designed to reflect the unique characteristics of each neighborhood in conjunction with their brand.

October 13, 2021

Why Pairing Interior Design with Your Brand Matters

Brand Execution
Popular
A brand provides a distinct experience and evokes emotion from customers. This is why it's important for business to care about branding all the way through their interior space. Ask yourself, "What do I want my customers to feel the moment they step in the door?"

Here at Hardy we are always talked about your brand identity and how it must be consistent throughout all aspects of the business. We want to use Starbucks as an example throughout this post on how a brand executes interior design.

Whatever your feelings are on Starbucks, the brand is undeniably a design powerhouse. They believe a coffeehouse should be a welcoming, inviting and familiar place for people to connect. Starbucks designs their interiors capitalizing on this idea by reflecting the unique characteristics of the town/city and neighborhoods they serve. The mission of Starbucks is to create a spectacular experience that is in line with the local culture and designed to reflect the unique characteristics of each neighborhood in conjunction with their brand.

Anyone that has seen the Starbucks brand would be able to realize they are in a Starbucks store. Why? Because Starbucks understands that their interior design is an extension of their customer service, experience, and brand identity. The strategy behind their interior design is simple. They localize store elements to reflect the neighborhood they are placed in, but they continue to stay true to the Starbucks experience. You can still feel that it’s a Starbucks, but it also has a sense of place and belonging. It isn’t just a coffee story; it is also a local cultural story. They want to resonate with the locals as well as tourists.

How to bridge the brand and interior design gap

So, how do you do this for your business? First, consider your brand and then take a look at the design of your space. Do you use the same descriptive words to describe your space as you do for your product or service? Extending your branding into your interior space helps you and your customers understand who you are and what makes your business unique.

Below is an outline of how we recommend bringing your brand into your physical space. Keep in mind, you don’t have to have a storefront to communicate your brand through physical space, it could be your office, patient rooms, or warehouse offices.

1. Collaborate & Schedule

Collaborate as early on as possible with all parties involved: architects, interior designers, brand agencies, etc. Keeping all parties included on decision making leads to better ideas and creates stronger project overall.

2. Budget

Clearly define what you need to complete your project and what you want. The costs of interior design can vary depending on the scope of the project, so make sure you know where you can give and take within your budget. Be honest with yourself on what you want and what you need for your space. Staying within budget sometimes means compromising on certain things so you know your boundaries.

3. Brand Pillars

Brand pillars are the deep-seated truths that your brand embraces every single day; culturally, physically and emotionally. These brand pillars not only describe your culture, but they can also help steer the art direction of your mood boards (which is up next!). The entire brand foundation relies on these pillars to be steadfast through the lifetime of the brand. For example, is your business clean, minimal and modern or is it fun, colorful and energetic? You can already see these adjectives immediately brought about two completely different pictures in your mind.

4. Interior Mood Board

A mood board is a collection of images, words, fonts, and colors that, as a collection, are meant to evoke a feeling about your brand. Creating an interior space mood board will help better understand, gain cohesion and communicate your brand. You can then use this board to help you decide furniture choices, an accent wall, and lighting fixtures that are in line with your brand when you start exploring design options.

5. Map out a Floor Plan

A floor plan is a diagram of a room from an aerial perspective to help you plan for furniture placement and how many people will comfortably flow through your space. A floor plan is like a map, it shows where you are going and how to get there. With a good floor plan you’ll know the right size of furniture to purchase and where to place it for maximum usage and comfort.

6. Shop

Search for furniture pieces locally or online that align with your interior mood board and have fun! Don’t forget about your budget and your floor plan. First, buy your staple pieces: paint, chairs, a couch, an office table, etc. What pieces do you need to buy in order for your interior space to convey the brand successfully? Be cautious to not get sucked into buying things you want, but focus first on the items you need.

7. Execute and Refine

Once all of your “need” interior pieces have arrived start arranging them in your space according to your floor plan. Test everything out and check back with your interior mood board. Does it go together? Do you use the same descriptive words (your brand pillars) to describe your space as you do your brand, product or service? Is your space continuing to tell the story of your brand? If the answer is “YES!” and if there is room in your budget still, start adding some additional “want” accents that continue the brand story, such as décor, light fixtures, choice of pillows, an accent rug, etc.

Starbuck brand identity and Interior Identity Board
Starbucks Brand Identity // Interior Identity Board

Why does this matter?

Branding is a pivotal element of your business. Branded interior design is a critical tool to enforce and strengthen your business, re-enforcing your customer bond, and improve the overall experience. A company’s brand communicates what makes them unique and helps them stand out against competition. Circling back to Starbucks, there are many companies who also sell coffee – yet none can compare to Starbucks. Since its founding days, in the early 1990’s Starbucks has strived to build its brand identity by offering customers a relaxing and enjoyable experience. From the beginning, the experiential aspect of the brand has been consistently and effectively implemented in all Starbucks stores across the globe.

Amsterdam Starbucks interior
Starbucks, Amsterdam

The Starbucks mission statement is “To inspire, and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.” The only number that matters to Starbucks is “one.” One cup. One customer. One partner. One experience at a time.

The company’s brand strategy has kept pace with time and has evolved to take advantage of new and emerging trends while still staying true to its mission statement. For example, their new design strategy is: Act Local. What you don’t want is a customer walking into a store in downtown Seattle, then walking into a store in Bozeman, Montana and having it be the same layout, same store, same everything. To design local, you have to be a local. You can’t design a locally relevant store without being a local. Starbucks has just recently started relocating their interior design team from headquarters into the actual communities where they would be designing stores.

New Orleans Starbucks
Starbucks, New Orleans

As of this year, Starbucks has over 200 designers that are working out of 18 different design studios around the globe. With more people spread out, they began noticing that the original foundation of being “Your neighborhood coffee shop” started to gain its authentic roots back. Notice, the only thing that was being changed here – was the interior design. The mission, the experience and the coffee are still all the same – this is how impactful interior design can be on a business.

In Conclusion

Branding does not end once the logo is finished, when the business cards are printed or a website goes live. During every step of the branding process, you should ask yourself, “What do I want my customers to feel?” That should extend inside your company’s physical space. The environmental design space is a crucial element of the brand experience. Interior execution should embody the values and vibe of your company in the same way a logo or website would.

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We’re always eager to talk branding with interested business owners.

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About Us

Like our work, the Hardy Brands branding & design agency team is an embodiment of the perfect balance of strategy and creative. We’ve cultivated a team of certified brand specialists and strategists, designers, copywriters and marketing professionals who are ferocious about helping you succeed. We’re a Montana marketing agency that will constantly strive to improve your business.

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As a branding, marketing and design agency, we partner with all types of businesses, from restaurants and breweries to building and real estate professionals, nonprofits to accountants and many others. Get a better idea of who we are and what we do by visiting our Work page.

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