How Designers Create Consistent User Experiences with Interior Branding 

Mar 14 2024
Designers are looking through different interior design materials to help develop a consistent interior brand for a client. They are looking at carpet samples, counter top samples, and paint samples.

Gaining a new location (or locations) is an exciting endeavor for any business, large or small.

As your business grows, it is important to not overlook the value of consistently branding each space with interior design. Incorporating branded interior design into each location can help to not only reinforce your brand’s value to employees and customers but can help create a more cohesive experience at each location both in person and online.  

What is Branding?

A brand is a culmination of images, impressions, and experiences a customer holds about a product, service, or company. Having a brand is a critical part of influencing what customers think and feel about an organization and is key to setting a product or organization apart from competitors.  

Getting Started

Developing Your Brand

The key to developing a successful company brand is honest and ongoing communication of an organization’s values and offerings to its customers and clients. To achieve this goal, companies can start by examining their current culture and offerings and gather information on what users hope to gain from the company’s offerings.  

A few important questions to answer when developing your brand are:

  1. What makes your business different from competitors?  
  1. How do you want others to view your brand?  
  1. Which values guide your business?  
  1. What is your brand’s personality?  
  1. What is your brand’s voice? 
  1. What story is your brand going to tell?  

Assembling Your Team

Creating a consistent brand across multiple locations needs a dedicated team including the owner of the company, internal company leaders, and a design team. Designers know how to look at a building holistically to design a space that is efficient, encourages productivity, promotes wellness, and incorporates branding into every location.  

As designers, our goal is to listen to our clients and develop creative solutions to help incorporate the company’s brand into every space using our knowledge of interior finishes and fixtures, color theory, and how interior design influences human psychology and behavior. Understanding how the owner wants each client or employee to feel when they enter their business is an important first step towards creating an ideal space. The right design team will be able to collaborate with the owner and their team to help bring their vision to life. 

Why Consistent Interior Branding Across Locations is Key

Regardless of the distance between each of your company’s locations, your customers are going to expect the same experience at every branch. Maintaining brand consistency throughout each location is part of what makes mega-brands like Barnes and Noble, Target, and McDonald’s successful. These companies understand that their interior design is an extension of their customer service, user experience, and brand identity. The strategy behind their consistent design is to evoke a sense of comfort for their users because they can always expect a familiar experience at every location. Enforcing the same standards of service and facilities at each location will help establish your business’ identity whether it has two locations or two hundred.  

Appealing to Local People

In addition to creating high customer expectations through consistent branding design, many large businesses have also curated certain aspects of each of their stores to reflect the town or city they are placed in while keeping the brand’s experience. For example, Barnes and Noble utilizes local store managers to help localize and personalize their displays to highlight local authors and provide an experience that aligns with the local’s preferences. Appealing to locals is important to increase brand recognition, gain new customers, and form a loyal customer base.

Designers working together to create a consistent interior brand. These designers are going over different material samples to choose which ones will work best for the client. There are carpet samples, flooring samples, and paint samples on the table with three designers looking through them and discussing their thoughts.

Bringing Your Brand into the Physical Space

Define Your Budget

Every decision a client makes during a project ranging from finish and furniture selection to the types of windows to install will be contingent on the project’s budget. It is crucial to establish how much money the company can afford to spend on a project, and what the company is hoping to gain from new construction, an addition, or renovation work before it begins.

To learn more about how to renovate your workplace on a budget, check out this article written by our team: A Guide to a Budget-Friendly Office Renovation.

Consider Your Return on Investment

The costs of interior design can vary based on the scope of the project and in some cases, it is worth the extra expense if a feature can yield a large return on investment overall. For example, purchasing an exterior sign to help guide customers to your business could be a positive investment as it can help attract customers and increase brand recognition.

Creating Interior Branding Guidelines

Once you have established your brand, defined the budget, and assembled an ardent team to execute the company’s branding goals, you can begin working with a design team to create a set of brand guidelines. 

 When creating interior brand guidelines, the design team will work with the owner to bring their vision to life by listening to what the owner wants in their space, working with pre-established brand guidelines created by the owner and the marketing team, and using their knowledge of color theory, materials, and human behavior to create the building interior.  

These guidelines will include colors, flooring and furniture samples, logos, and other graphics and images that represent the company’s brand. These standards will be used in the design of all current locations and for the design of future branches as your company grows to help create consistent user experiences.

Bringing Your Vision to Life

Using the brand guidelines that the design team created, you can begin the process of purchasing and installing furniture and fixtures in your space.  

Project Highlight: Carolinas Fertility Institute

With locations throughout North Carolina, Carolinas Fertility Institute (CFI) provides treatment for infertility patients in Charlotte, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Through personalized care and attention, CFI’s goal is to help guide patients through their fertility journey and create as stress-free of an experience as possible.  

CFI reached out to MHAworks to renovate three existing buildings in Cary, Asheville, and Charlotte to help them achieve their goals of expanding their practice and creating a consistent user experience at each location.

In addition to the renovation work, MHAworks partnered with Young Office to assist CFI with creating their furniture, fixture, and equipment (FF&E) package for each of the upcoming clinics.  While Young Office completed much of the detailed space planning for this project, MHAworks assisted with coordinating with Young Office for quality of furniture and fabrics and collaborated with them to pick furniture and finish selections.

Using our vast knowledge of commercial and medical design, our team helped CFI accomplish their renovation goals and produced creative solutions to help answer many important branding questions including:  

How Do You Want Users to Experience Your Brand?

The owner of CFI wanted to create a high-end hospitality look in each office location. Fertility treatment can be a stressful and taxing experience for patients and their loved ones and CFI’s goal as a company is to create as stress-free and comfortable of an experience as possible for every user. In keeping with their goals, our designers chose comforting textures and colors, high-end furniture pieces, and high performing wallcoverings, flooring, and surfaces in the design of each office.  

Similar to the design of boutique hotel chains, CFI’s clinics each have their own special twists design-wise that make each clinic unique while still creating the same high-end experience at every location.  

Carolina Fertility Institute waiting room and front entrance.

What Makes Your Business Different From Your Competitors?

Since CFI is a medical office, it is crucial that the materials selected are durable and cleanable to meet the regulations and guidelines for designing health care facilities. These regulations present many challenges and opportunities for designers as they have a more limited material selection.  

The design of CFI is meant to be comforting and to feel and look more high-end. This approach is one of the aspects of CFI’s brand that separates them from competing businesses.  

Exam room at Carolina Fertility Institute

Together, we can help create consistent user experiences through quality interior branding design.

Check out MHAworks Health Care Interior Designer Mandy Pittman’s article: Why is Health Care Branding Design Essential? as she shares her knowledge of health care branding design in greater detail.