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By Tania Varela | 25 August, 2020

Should we go physical or digital?

This global crisis proved that branding will never die.

In this globalized age, we’re all looking to stand out from the crowd. Whether it’s the way we choose to dress, the places we often visit, or even our professional world, the goal is to stand out.

Despite the digital era that we face, interiors and architecture still play a substantial role in our daily lives. Even though some retail spaces, such as stores, are slowly dying due to the online shopping pandemic, there are still spaces that will thrive. Let’s think about travel, let it be for leisure, business, or personal reasons, people won’t stay still. It’s very unlikely that traveling will be eradicated. Not even COVID-19 could achieve that.

Therefore, the interiors and commercial architectural projects that are going to keep coming are hotels, airports, restaurants, among others. However, nowadays, just pretty interiors and well-built buildings don’t come across as they used to. A very important tool to make your business or space stand out from the rest is branding. Clear and proper communication is key to reach your ideal audience and capture the attention of whoever might encounter your brand. Both, in the physical world as much as in the digital one.

When speaking about commercial projects for interior design and architecture, it is crucial to begin by creating a solid concept that serves as the backbone that guides all of its communication needs. For instance, the material palette for the finishes of a building can be directly related to the color palette of the communication. Hence, creating contrasts and harmonies between both ends up complementing each other and delivering solid results.

Here’s another example, lets say the architectural concept is based on an industrial look and feel, a trend that was very popular not so long ago. Elements of the communication, such as the logo or icons can also be based on these principles. Subsequently, the overall results will be consistent and will give the project that final touch that may differentiate it from the competition. In other words, if we think about the branding elements the same way we think about the interiors and give it as much importance, it can influence the outcome in a very positive way.

All of this applies to spaces that can’t be replaced with digital services, but what happens with all the ones that can be substituted? It’s very tempting to go digital. You avoid paying rent, the amount of employees reduces and also the responsibilities, and it’s more convenient for the customer in many ways. Strong branding is key to sell products or services online and to stay afloat amongst the millions of brands that make extreme efforts to sell online. Brands that usually stand out in this vast ocean are the ones with strong communication and clutter-free branding. Such as millennial brands like Glossier and Seedlip. Their identities are clear, decluttered, and straight forward, characteristics very much appreciated by their current targets. They’re also accompanied by extremely successful marketing strategies, such as unboxing. So much so, sometimes they end up going against their principles and opening physical stores as a demand of their audience, as it’s the case of Glossier and other brands like Warby Parker.

This opposite effect happens when brands end up being so successful because of their strategies and communication, that regardless of the current social and economical situation they manage to open stores when they weren’t even planning to do so. On the contrary, other brands like Gap and Forever 21 seem to be closing stores by the minute. Regarding retail, going digital first with remarkable branding is the way to go. Commercially speaking, in food and travel sectors, having strong interiors accompanied by an unforgettable identity is a very viable possibility for this day and age. Despite the current global situation branding is not dying, in fact, today it’s more crucial than ever.