How “On Brand” Are Your Meetings?
By Ali Gillum, Head of Community & Events at The Eleven.
…is this a question you’ve ever asked of your company? If not, you need to.When undergoing a brand creation, a company spends hours agonising over their colour palette, their chosen font, and their logo design.
These are all essential elements, but it’s also important to remember that your brand is living, and your team and office space embody it.
People are the most important part of a business, so let’s start with them:
Do you invest in your team — helping them work out how each of them can, in their own individual style, embody your brand?
One area of focus for this is meetings.
There’s a subconscious message you send to dinner guests when the table is laid when they arrive. It tells them “we’re expecting you”, and it makes them feel valued and welcomed.
Before your next meeting, why not spend five minutes in the room making sure there are enough chairs for everyone, along with a bottle of water and glasses. You can even make a cafetiere, and get mugs and milk on the table (even if no coffee is drunk, having it ready sends a wider relational message). Cookies add another level too, but something is better than nothing, so start with baby steps!
Other details can also reflect your tone as a company:
If you’re an environmental charity, it’s probably not best practice to print lots of documents for meetings, but if you’re working with a much older demographic, they will appreciate printed documents over electronic versions.
If you have a focus on health and wellbeing, it’s probably not best practice to have sugary fizzy drinks on offer in your meetings, but if your client has mentioned that they absolutely love these sugary drinks, why not indulge that and get some of these in for your meeting.
You’ll spend (on average) just shy of 100,000 hours at work during our lifetime, so why not make your office a space that your team are going to enjoy spending their time in?
Whenever anyone enters your office, they encounter your brand.
What’s the primary message you want your brand to convey? What’s your brand’s personality? How are these reflected in the physical space? Does walking into your office feel the same, in a physical sense, as the virtual experience of going on your website? The two should line up.
Have you paid attention to the small (could-be-argued irrelevant) details of your office space?
Flowers don’t cost much and have a lovely impact. Sweets in meeting rooms are by no means necessary, but are fun; they allow people to indulge their inner kid, and perhaps provide a sugar kick when a meeting gets drowned in spreadsheets. Photos of the team stuck up around the office is a very cheap way of showing off the personalities of the people within your company.
Have you chosen your mugs intentionally? A mug is not just a mug, it says a lot… A white and orange company branded mug sends a different message to a plain pink one. The same goes for Cath Kidston against Le Creuset.
At The Eleven, we went pottery painting, and now all our mugs are in the office. It’s been a fantastic addition to our kitchen!
A brand goes beyond design. Pay attention to your people and your office, and you’ll quickly see the cumulative benefits of getting everything aligned.