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“Before you sign a lease, consider how the location will support and help realize your brand. If you wait until after, you could be stuck with a location, building features, or even neighbors that detract from your ability to build the culture you envision.” Aaron Spiess


Intentional strategic planning as early as possible in the location selection process is integral to the future of your workforce. The following are a few considerations to inform planning and discussions:

Look around now—how do employees currently experience your brand within the work space? Brand begins with the people who experience it, so first, understand who you are planning for. What are employee wants, desires, and unmet needs in the space you currently occupy?

Does your real estate portfolio align with your brand? Do the actual buildings in which your teams work align with your cultural values and priorities? The larger portfolio can be used to activate real estate as a platform for brand expression when you look beyond traditional measures like cost per square footage and consider the potential of brand alignment in each location decision.

How can you build out interior areas that allow employees to fully immerse themselves in the brand? To design a space that orchestrates a positive, relevant human experience with the brand, consider how the layout itself can influence a person’s approach to their work. A unique take on making the space suit your business is with InTheGroove Music, Minneapolis.

Why this, instead of that? Investigate the “why” behind every piece of potential brand expression before signing a property contract and/or engaging a designer. Remember, brand does not solely live in the logo or the architecture. It lives in the hearts and minds of people.

Gut-check: Does the space still work with the overarching brand messages? Or does it feel like a contradiction? All the pieces in corporate brand strategy should work in concert together, including the physical space but also extending to marketing and HR. Think of the coordinated effort as an orchestra—every element must be right, or it sounds off-key.

For more information, read the full article ‘Hold that Pen! Think Branding Before-not after-you Sign a Lease”.


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