December 21, 2018

How to use the five senses to bring your space to life

Karen Gould

Your brand doesn’t simply exist as a logo. Every way your clients, prospects and employees interact with your brand can (and should) be an experience—and that includes your space.

Does colorful candy fill a bowl? Do fresh apples lend a homey vibe? Do you offer paper cups or bottled water? Every choice you make, from snacks to seating, makes a statement about how you want your brand to be experienced.

You have a unique opportunity for every sense to leave your mark. So, ask yourself: What do people see, taste, hear, touch and smell when they experience my brand by visiting my space?

1. What do they see?

  • What is their first impression of the tone of your space? And what do you want their impression of your brand to be? Are they the same? Do you want guests to feel warm and cozy? Upscale and luxurious? Quirky and fun?
  • What’s on the walls? Perhaps if your focus is human resources, you apply your brand manifesto to the walls. Or if you work with the environment you can bring the outside in with textured walls and hanging plants
  • How do guests see the space? Can you create a scripted tour that helps guests understand your story?

2. What do they taste?

  • What refreshments can you offer your guests to make them feel welcome?
  • If you offer an array of snacks and drinks, keep track of your guests’ likes and dislikes so you can wow them by anticipating their needs next time
  • Employees are statistically less likely to waste their employer’s time when they feel respected. What simple amenities can you offer to help them feel appreciated?

3. What do they hear?

  • Think about your atmosphere and tone from tip No. 1 and make sure your music matches. Your choice of music sets the tone, whether just in your lobby or throughout the space
  • If music isn’t an option but you work in an open environment, consider how you can add white noise, like ceiling fans, to help your employees focus
  • Are your guests greeted upon arrival? If not, how can you make sure the first thing they hear is a warm welcome?

4. What do they touch?

  • Incorporate soft seating that helps communicate atmosphere and tone. For example, for warm and cozy consider distressed velvet, for upscale and luxurious incorporate leather seating and for quirky and fun add some poufs
  • Vary your tactile surfaces. At treetree, we use white boards and cork boards to help with brainstorms and work sessions
  • Consider a variety of workspaces (like standing areas, islands and desks) in addition to various seating for different types of conversations (like couches, small conference rooms and nooks)

5. What do they smell?

  • Incorporate plants that not only add their own smell but help clean the air. Snake plants and aloe plants are two of the best air purifiers. At treetree, we used moss to create a ceiling accent and you’ll hardly find a windowsill without a plant
  • Consider a custom scent. In Columbus, you could create your own at the Candle Lab that will always remind guests and workers of the experience in your space
  • Add local touches that not only support your community but also offer a great talking point. You can include locally made soaps, hand lotions, flowers, food and more

Do you need help making your space an experience?

Sometimes a project needs to reach audiences through engaging and interactive experiences to achieve objectives. Through experience design, we plan, create and implement events and environments that immerse audiences in a brand, making a lasting tangible impression.

  • Facility tour strategy and signage
  • Corporate office/environmental signage, branding and graphics
  • Sales pitch experiences
  • Special event theming and concepting
  • Tradeshow, meeting and conference planning and management

Reach out to make your space an experience.