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When Lion Nathan were bringing all their Sydney offices under one roof in a sparkling new inner-city space, we partnered with their interior architects, Project Control Group, to wrap the working environment in the corporate brand and values.
Rather than brainwash with slogans and platitudes, we brought the brand to life in physical form by using the brand language that we used for the company in their external communications.
Insight’s external communications work for Lion Nathan over many years had built a very clear and distinctive corporate brand language, that wasn’t very corporate at all. It reflected the company’s ethos of ‘Making the world a more sociable place’ – a rallying cry very appropriate to a marketer of beers, wines and spirits.
Up to this point, various part of the business were scattered in offices throughout Sydney, mostly breweries, where the office environments had evolved over decades but still rooted firmly in a traditional beer-oriented idiom. A beer-production focus is quite different from a ‘sociability’ focus. By bringing all Sydney office workers into the same building, the opportunity arose to unify sub-cultures and align the internal feeling of the brand to the external face of many years.
Working with the architects, we identified surfaces throughout the 4 floor levels that could carry strong graphics. Where possible, we related graphics and statements to the department that worked in the space, for example, the finance team has ‘Liquidity’ emblazoned across one wall and the Heineken team’s space is bedecked in green bottles. One marketing department meting room has a space invaders theme.
Fortunately, we had an image library (photography and illustration) of considerable depth, variety and fun. And we created plenty of new ideas and graphics to suit the brief and the environment too.
One of the challenges was producing artwork to exactly the right sizes, often before the walls were actually built! The logistics in project managing such a complex and detailed set of installations also tested the braincells.
The environment was a blast of energy and invigoration for Lion Nathan’s people to move into. The brand became an integral part of their daily lives without taking a preachy tone to achieve the objective.
The success of the exercise in terms of creating a stimulating and brand aligned working environment is reflected in the later commission to dress new office blocks at Olympic Park (link to Olympic Park case study) and Wetherill Park for the Lion entity that was created from the merger of Lion Nathan and National Foods.