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April, 2021

How Spaceworks has changed forever

Opinion

Like many businesses, Covid has had a big impact on Spaceworks. It has made us take the time to look at who we are, who we want to be, what people are saying about us, what we want them to say, where we are and where we want to go.

This has meant company-wide self-reflection, competitor and self-analysis, along with a review of every corner of the business to answer these questions:

  • What are our values?
  • Are they still relevant in a world pandemic?
  • What does growth look like when the world’s doors seem firmly shut?
  • Is growth even possible – and what if growth wasn’t in turnover but growth in our people, our systems processes and procedures?
  • How can we spend this time becoming the best version of Spaceworks?

We have been working on all of this and now I want to share some of that brand development journey in the hope that it will help you in your business.

What is the value in a brand?

Do you know the value in your brand? I didn’t know the value in ours. My mantra is to do and be the best we can be but what are the key foundations that underpin who we are? And how and when should we communicate these?

One thing I do know is that we have built a lot of goodwill in the Spaceworks brand. We have been around for 20 years, have worked with many companies and had great successes along the way. But Covid meant that we needed to overturn the apple cart and challenge the status quo with a view to simply being better, stronger and more influential in our field.

We started with the key leadership team, everyone was interviewed about who and what we were as a business. While we were similar in our views, we were also different. Different enough that there could be different perceptions of us in the market.

We then assessed ourselves and our competitors:

  • What did we think people were saying about us?
  • What were we saying about them?
  • And what did we want people to say about us?

It’s my view that everything we do and say in the marketplace should influence where possible what we want people to say about Spaceworks.

At the end of this process of refinement, I now look at who we are and I see direction, I see excitement. I now understand how the process of evaluation underpins everything we do going forward.

Brand values and HR

In re-evaluating our values, we have refreshed them, culled a few and added others. But more importantly, it gave us a chance look at what are must-haves or deal-breakers in terms of adding new people to the team.

Diversity has become a key pillar for Spaceworks, and as a personal member of the rainbow community, it is important to me that the business lives and breathes this right down to educating those who currently work with us and those who will in the future.

 

Looking at our values and key pillars means that we will now employ only people who align with our all-inclusive, all-together beliefs. This extends further than gender to race, disability, age and neuro-diversity (brought to my attention recently as an important inclusivity consideration).

Is a brand all about the look?

As part of the brand review I was keen to look at our colour scheme. I thought a subtle refresh would be great but actually what resonated was a punchy bright blue and black that aligned with our punchy passion and drive for the design industry. Do it, do it well – and in our case – I want to do it loudly.

As part of this exercise, we went through our tone of voice and company personality. This gave us an understanding of the extent or limitations of our communication style. It also brought us face to face with our customer centricity – whether we were walking the talk or just talking the talk.

 

I’m excited for everyone to see the physical manifestation of the brand rollout, through our business cards, website and site signs plus the language we will speak with our clients and suppliers through our digital and verbal communications.

Our office of the future

We could not even start to think about how the office would look without understanding and addressing who we were and who we wanted to be. We did not want the new colours to be simply plastered all over our space. We needed to look at how our values aligned and supported the space, and whether our mission for the future required we change our work practices.

If you have followed my posts you will know that I have been a supporter of working from home, and encourage this flexibility in my team. I am however also a big advocate of connection and community which occurs well in an office environment.

 

We have been working on many projects like this for clients which has given us an understanding of what we will do with our own space. It will include fewer fixed desks and more meeting and collaboration spaces; more technology and better ability to have Zoom and Skype calls in private. Function will lead these changes, and because we are designers and can’t help ourselves, the design aesthetics will be close behind.

All this has come about thanks to an unplanned pandemic, conversations with many different people and first-hand experience. There is no question the office of the (near) future will be different and by taking a long hard look at ourselves and making the changes needed for what’s ahead, I believe we are providing a business role model for others to follow.

Lizzi Whaley
CEO