Innovation, collaboration, flexibility, greater employee retention, increased productivity, and cost savings are some of the benefits of coworking space. What began with freelancers and startups has since become very appealing to large corporations such as Bank of America, Microsoft, UBS, and Verizon.
With the growth in shared office space (according to projections, there will be some 41,975 coworking spaces worldwide by the end of 2024), one of the challenges tenants face is promoting their unique businesses within the shared workspace framework. How will you preserve the sense of belonging in your personnel inside a shared workspace?
Here are several ideas to consider:
Networking is the perfect time to let others experience your business brand. The opportunities to network in ever-changing and dynamic coworking spaces are limitless. Tell your company story; make yourself known; share your vision. People buy from those they know and trust and that can only come about through relationship building.
Start a casual conversation in the common area, practice an open-door policy whenever possible, barter for small services, offer to collaborate on a special project. Remember that part of becoming a successful business owner is getting a handle on networking.
Host Special Events
Boost your brand image by hosting special events. Whether hosting a big or small event, shared experiences with your clients, employees, and other industry players are bound to bring a host of benefits to your business. What’s nice is that coworking spaces with their common areas, numerous meeting rooms, outdoor courts, kitchens, ample parking, high-speed internet, etc., are conducive to such occasions. Host a guest speaker, conduct a workshop, hold product demonstrations, moderate a panel discussion, plan a speed networking night—all of these will make your business more visible and help establish your brand.
To get you started, here are 21 event ideas for coworking spaces.
Create a Sense of Community
Community is perhaps the largest driving force for coworking areas. It’s what sets it apart from everything else. Why not apply some of that force to your brand awareness? Do what you can to promote connectivity, collaboration, and teamwork. Create positive interactions. Offer to consult on a proposal. Plan joint promotional activities with other tenants. Bringing people together to motivate, create, problem solve, and achieve success is a big way to generate brand awareness. For ideas to get started, here are 7 ways to build community in a coworking space.
Plan Your Office Layout
The office layout can make a big impact on branding. All elements such as color, textures, lighting, placement, and style should be studied. What helps many businesses is keying off the look and feel of their websites. Nothing is too small to consider when planning your layout—even greenery can help tell your business story. Think about displaying professional photos of the products you sell or the services you provide; they add to your branding, as well.
One key question to ask is this: What experience do you want your employees, clients, and guests to have when visiting your coworking space? Also keep in mind that how you set up your space says a lot about your organization. For example, how inviting is your reception area? Is it welcoming or more like a barrier?
Use Branded Merchandise
In a coworking space, it is important to live the brand. Notepads, t-shirts, flash drives, mugs, pens, pedometers, magnets, sport water bottles—all with your business name and logo—help define your space, give you instant brand recognition, and add something special to first impressions. Branded merchandise does make a difference. In fact, 90% of people who receive a promotional product can recall the name of the brand.
Follow Coworking Etiquette
Although branding is important in your business’s welfare, it’s important not to step on other people’s territory when in a co-working hub. That means following basic rules such as (1) leave a space as clean as you found it; (2) keep noise to a minimum; (3) be respectful of others; (4) avoid being a distraction; (5) respect boundaries.
Developing a solid customer base and inspiring employees are two important reasons for branding your coworking space. Build on the key elements of shared work space—agility, open communication, community, creativity—and make the space uniquely yours.