In the 21st century, creating a unique brand space is more important than ever. The golden days of catchy taglines and media buys just won’t do the job on their own anymore. Brands need to create immersive brand environments that demonstrate brand alignment from messaging to physical spaces. Investing in artwork drives intrinsic ROI – that includes employee and customer acquisition and retention, employee and customer satisfaction, and creating a sense of community and worth in the workplace.
Intrinsic Return on Investment
In a survey of 800 employees at 32 companies, the following trends emerged:
- 94% of people who responded agree that artwork enhances the work environment
- 84% of respondents agree artwork shows an employer values improving the quality of life for its staff both in and out of the workplace
- 82% of people agreed art is important in the workplace
- 73% of employees desire more artwork in the workplace
Source: The Business Committee for the Arts Inc. and the International Association for Professional Art Advisors
Corporate identity (CI) now far exceeds logos, typographies, design guidelines and communications best practices.
We live in the world of ‘brand identity’ and ‘brand alignment’ in the 21st century where your brand space extends to every customer and employee touchpoint imaginable. This certainly includes physical spaces.
If you are competing for customers or trying to ‘wow’ clients, having a modern and carefully planned office is par for the course. We can help you meet those needs by creating brand alignment that echoes your mission and values.
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Research & Evidence: Aesthetics Matter
Environmental Factors Matter
According to INC, “environmental motivators can make or break you.” According to the article, this can include carefully decorated break areas, removing cube walls to reveal an open work environment, or of course, investing in aesthetic elements like artwork. Author Jason Demers writes, “If you're ever concerned about the effectiveness of your workplace, ask around. Chances are, your employees will tell you directly if they feel like your office is dull or uninspiring.”
As demonstrated in the survey above, if 94 percent of people agree that artwork enhances the work environment and 73 percent of employees desire more artwork in the workplace, chances have it your organization falls somewhere into this mix. Just poll your staff and you might be surprised by what you find!
Investing in Artwork
According to the BBC, half of Fortune 500 companies and another 2,000 companies throughout the US and Europe were collecting art by the mid-1990s. It's likely this number has increased. While this number is rather difficult to quantify consistently, it demonstrates that corporations put value on artwork.
While the value of artwork may be seen differently by different corporations – whether as a monetary investment, as an arm of branding, or countless other possible factors – it is worth acknowledging that corporate art collections are common.
At Art Force, we attribute the uptick in employee motivation from artwork to intrinsic ROI. Intrinsic ROI comes in many forms and while it is sometimes hard to quantify with exact figures, the body of evidence surrounding the positive and uplifting benefits of artwork is expressed across many credible sources.
As the data shows below, the United States loves art. And we have a workplace motivation problem as a nation. If artwork can improve motivation, that is a serious boost to intrinsic ROI.
U.S. & Art
In an assessment by Center for Research in Economics (CREMA), some interesting insights emerged about who collects art. According to the assessment, the top ten countries with the most private art collections include:
United States - 23%
Germany - 8%
United Kingdom - 7%
China & Brazil - 5% each
Art & Motivation
Employee motivation is something companies should take seriously. According to a January 2015 Gallup poll assessing 2014 and 2013 U.S. employee engagement:
Employees “engaged” in 2014 - 31.5%
Employees "not engaged" in 2014 - 51%
Employees "actively disengaged" in 2014 - 17.5%
Demonstrating Workplace Pride
Some sources use terms like Return on Environment (ROE) as a basis for quantifying the value of artwork in the workplace. Forbes addressed the idea of ROE in 2014 and raised some points worth mentioning:
- The article references “boosting creativity” and “helping reduce stress” as two commonly cited benefits of artwork in the workplace.
- The author felt that demonstrating pride in the workplace is the real key, saying “Pride motivates. And that’s good business.”