There’s a lot to be said for familiarity. People generally know what they like and like what they know. This is why it’s often seen as a risk to radically rebrand, change the corporate colours, identity, or name. Business change can be scary, but it can also be a very positive thing – and sometimes it’s necessary. Nevertheless, some people will embrace it, whilst others resist.
Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre, BBIC, has been around for more than thirty years. In that time, we have grown and developed as a business centre and support resource. We’ve seen hundreds of entrepreneurs join our sites with fledgling operations and then go on to become very successful businesses. Some of them have moved on, others, like Merlinsoft – our longest-serving tenant – have chosen to stay with us as they’ve grown and expanded.
Over the years, we have also developed as an organisation and now, we do more than ever, with a huge range of business support services on offer. Our team has grown, increasing the expertise and advice that is available to new and established business tenants.
The thing is, during the past thirty years, the look and feel of the place has pretty much stayed the same. We felt that it no longer reflected what we stood for, or the image we wanted to convey to tenants, visitors, or our own staff.
Considering that BBIC had begun life in the 1980s, it was probably overdue for a bit of a makeover. Even so, it wasn’t something we rushed into, because our corporate identity also belongs to the tenants – their visitors and customers see our staff, colour scheme, signage and facilities, before they see them. It’s important that whatever changes we make, complement and strengthen the image and identity of our on-site tenants. We want to help them to create that important, positive first impression.
In addition to this, according to research, the average person spends between 20% and 35% of their lifetime waking hours at work. Studies also show the impact that business décor can have on a person’s mental and physical health. Making sure our workspaces are decorated in a way that promotes wellbeing and productivity is important. They also need to reflect the culture we are trying to create. Work needs to be a place where people feel energised, motivated and happy. Modernising BBIC had to capture all of these elements for our own staff and our tenants.
As you will by now know, our programme of modernisation began with a rebrand. This took us from BBIC to The Business Village, (you can read more about that here). Then there was a lot to consider; everything from the outside space, to the reception areas, interior corridors, meeting rooms, break-out facilities, bathrooms and admin areas. Of course, all the plans also had to fall within a set budget.
The first step was to decide on a colour scheme. This is never easy; colours say so much about a business. A simple pantone can give a clear indication of your business’ culture – it definitely goes a long way towards determining the first impression people get. So, changing colours is a big deal and can be a very difficult decision.
Some businesses seem to do it every few years, as the company matures, people come and go, or get a little older. Their client base may change, or the business direction shifts and this is reflected in the new colour scheme. That’s certainly the case here @BarnsleyBIC, where over thirty years, we’ve seen many changes. We considered the various options very carefully – our new colours needed to reflect where we are now and to keep up with future developments. We need them to give a professional impression, with a modern and dynamic twist. That’s a big ask of a simple pantone reference…
Externally, we had limited scope, in terms of the general build and layout of the sites. In order to make the most of our external appearance, we focused on modern and eye-catching signage, to showcase what we do.
Inside the buildings, we are brighter and more reflective of what a modern workplace looks like. We carefully selected seating that was up-to-date, but also practical and comfortable. Our breakout areas now have space where tenants’ staff can sit to eat lunch or have a coffee break. The kitchen facilities have been updated, as have the washrooms.
Across our sites at The Business Village, we work hard to create a space where businesses can come together, collaborate and work smarter to achieve their goals. The support we offer in facilitating this, is at the foundation of everything we do.
Without wishing to sound clichéd, the saying goes that it takes a village to raise a child; we believe it takes a village to grow a business.