Brand Your Facility
The working conditions and messaging that surround our teams are extraordinarily important. To sustain and ideally build on your brand’s momentum, you must view your facilities as an extension of the brand itself.
I’ve visited offices that have impressive, proud displays of their products and technology. One client showcased their hundreds of patents on a big, beautifully arranged wall display. Every day, their employees walked by and got the message: We’re a proud engineering team that is leading the world with our ingenuity.
On the flip side, let’s say you’re a premium brand with advanced technology and design, yet your facilities are outdated, dirty and unsafe. Or you’re a trusted food product manufacturer with a legacy of quality, yet your team ignores internal safety processes. Or maybe you’re a leading division of a large conglomerate, yet have no images or photos of your product to decorate your offices. Instead, you display old images of the parent company’s various brands.
The point is our environment affects us. It can de-motivate or it can positively differentiate. And it is in our control. Leaders can improve it and make a powerful statement.
Here is how to leverage your brand investment to enhance your facilities and inspire your enterprise:
Refuse to look like a commodity. When copper rod producer SDI LaFarga changed its name to COPPERWORKS™, its leader, Kurt Breischaft, rallied the internal team to redecorate the facility with images that reinforced the brand. The exterior of the facility was also painted and branded, making it an inspiring billboard for the company.
Sign it. Consider putting key brand messaging on a banner and having employees sign their names. You can proudly display it in your facility as an inspiring reminder of what your brand stands for and your employees commitment to strengthening and building it.
Memorialize it. Some people have photos of themselves with celebrities, athletes, etc., displayed in their offices. Why not do the same with the “stars” who produce your products? Display photos throughout your facility of employees proudly standing next to the products they helped produce. It’s a great way to instill pride and purpose in what they do.
Differentiation stations. A smart client of ours identified three unique processes, named them and created signage inside the facility to reinforce them to the team and visitors. This made their plant tours easy to navigate and far more interesting.
Create the tour. What better time to clean up a dated plant or office than when you have rallied the team around your differentiation? Organize, erect signage and create a tour for your customers and other visitors. Employees will gladly volunteer to help create it.
As leaders, our teams rightfully feel we are either 1) people who truly believe and preach the gospel to our teams, or 2) “suits” who play politics and don’t care. When the plant needs repainting, but we pass by without action, our employees get the message. That translates into lower quality throughout the plant. We cannot claim we focus on customer satisfaction yet avoid solving issues. It is simple, and it is hard. Once you have identified your brand and differentiation, share the story and live it.
Discovering and celebrating your brand’s differentiation may well be one of the most rewarding experiences of your career. Clients have told us exactly that. Like any great journey, it takes time, courage and a willingness to be vulnerable.
Showcase what makes you unique, and let your team know you value them by providing an inspiring environment for them every day.
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Have you invested in branding your company’s locations?
Barry LaBov is founder and CEO of LABOV Marketing Communications and Training. He is a two-time Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year recipient and author of numerous business books, including the upcoming book The Power of Differentiation. Since 1981, LABOV has differentiated and launched products and brands around the world.