USP Creative

Branding from the inside out

Final Icons 13

Employee engagement and the role graphics play

Smart organisations understand brands don’t just exist externally in the minds of consumers. They appreciate the driving force behind the most powerful brands are its people, each and every one. These people are more than just employees. They’re true believers in the organisation, brand advocates, facilitators of innovation and, in an increasingly homogenised world, where competitive advantage starts.

“My job is to put man on the moon.” (Cleaner at NASA)

Much has been written about employee engagement and the correlation between an engaged workforce, work satisfaction, productivity and performance, however little has been said about the role of the branded environment and how it can help shape employee perspectives.

Dull, uninspiring workplaces can have serious negative effects on staff and, for a relatively low investment, introducing visually stimulating and well-designed graphics can have a massive effect. A well branded environment extends the experience of an organisation’s brand, values and personality to the workplace which, in turn, becomes a physical embodiment of the brand.

This fuels a sense of purpose and belonging amongst employees ensuring they fully understand why they’re there, what their role is and how they can make a difference. Put simply, it creates a positive culture, representative of the organisation’s mission, inspiring employee behaviour in line with it.

“I work for a company that loves dogs.” (Scientist at Pedigree)

From a purely commercial point of view well implemented graphics also offer a number of tangible benefits, from increased motivation and productivity, to staff retention and loyalty.

So how do we go about creating these branded environments?

Fundamentally it starts with understanding a company’s WHY. Why it exists. What its role in life is. What it believes in. This is far more powerful than what it sells or how it operates, both of which can be claimed by countless other organisations who have access to the same materials, technology and talent. The reason Apple can reinvent industries is because their WHY is to “Think Different” and every employee believes in this purpose and is inspired to make it happen.

Finding a company’s WHY is actually harder than it sounds and takes persistance and patience. However, once you’ve uncovered it everything else follows. The essence of the organisation can be captured and communicated through visually stimulating graphics, in a way that feels genuine and unique, invoking a sense of pride and passion amongst employees who feel part of something special.

When it comes to actually producing the graphics research tells us the use of strong imagery generates the highest levels of message recall and information absorption. 40% of all information we retain is driven by our sight whilst 80% of what our sight retains is colour and shapes.

So, translating an organisation’s essence, purpose and beliefs into relevant graphics is the quickest way to engaging employees and ensuring they understand and believe. This then manifests itself across a range of internal communications programmes and physical spaces, including reception areas, meeting rooms, even the staff canteen.