Art has long since adorned the walls and echoing spaces of large corporations wanting to project an image or enhance their brand. Some even engage in ‘proactive collecting’ of pieces which sit at the heart of their corporate identities. There is no doubt that art, in whatever form, inspires conversation and debate, it also resonates with individuals and can form a connection, just like branding, which persists over time.
The displaying of art in business spaces does not have to exclusively rest with big businesses. It is something that all business should and can consider. Whatever the budget.
The effects of displaying ‘tangible assets’ is well understood in psychological terms. It is something that we are all guilty of (if guilty is the right word), to a lesser or greater degree. With buying power, comes assets which are displayed. Whether it’s the five bedroom executive home; the fast car in the drive or the expensive watch on the wrist, what we display says something about us and our ‘wealth’ – at least in theory.
So, if we consider the above in terms of art and business, from a client’s perspective, displaying art in the form of images that have meaning from a business/company perspective, can afford an organisation an air of legitimacy and authority and as a result it can boost perceived confidence in a business and its ability to meet the needs of its customers. All things that marketers know and understand in terms of branding and company image. Artwork/imagery, carefully chosen and displayed in a reception area or meeting room, can help to put visitors at ease and reinforce the company message; the spaces have a sense of energy and vibrancy which simply doesn’t exist when they are empty. It also suggests a sense of dynamism on the part of the company.
Think for a moment about a new build property. Magnolia walls... empty spaces. In fact, many estate agents advise sellers to paint neutral colours prior to advertising for sale and advise against making bold statements with colour when trying to sell. Their advice rests on our understanding that people fill empty spaces with their own ideas
Is that what you want for your business?
Do you want to shape your customer experience and perception? Or do you want them to make assumptions about you and your company based on what they see or don’t see?
Care should be taken to match art acquired or created with the businesses mind set, brand image and culture. Displaying art and imagery (via paintings, photography or text) which relates directly to a company’s core business activity, can attract new business and help retain existing customers. All linking back to the ‘feel good factor’ of branding. Just think for a moment about all the different types of art that exists and what it might say about a company (the psychology): photographs by hard-hitting or controversial photographers; works by young cutting edge artists; art by well-known artists; traditional landscape paintings; portraits by local artists; graphic wall text extolling the company virtues… the list and possibilities are endless. Whatever the choice, the message on the business culture and attitude will be interpreted in the minds of customers and clients and you can directly influence their thinking. Or miss an opportunity to do so… which will it be?
A further benefit to art and creative imagery in the workplace relates to its effect on staff. There are many studies available which attempt to scope out the positive effect of art on staff moral. In addition, boosting creativity, reducing stress and creating a positive, pleasant and inspiring environment are also cited as positive effects of art/creativity on staff. Environmental factors relating to the work setting certainly do affect how we feel and all of us can probably identify with that…
Thinking creatively about your working environment and the environment within which you greet your customers is just as important as any other part of your marketing effort…
What do your walls say about your business?