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Strategic branding via architectural design

Creative Edge is honored to share some of the work we’ve done for smart companies who are using space to engage and excite their customers while building powerful brands. Find some excerpts from a story featured in Commercial Construction and Renovation Magazine below and read the full article here.

Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. According to, a brand “tells [customers] what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors.” When commercial construction companies build new spaces, they’re also helping to build stronger brands.

Historically, commercial buildings would hang a sign outside and be done. If people could see the sign and find the building, the business would succeed. Today’s marketplace is much more complicated with stiff competition everywhere. Modern brand development tactics involve every touchpoint of a customer’s experience, including the interiors and exteriors of commercial buildings, which do still include signage.

Just how important is architectural & design branding?

Consider four questions:

  1. Would Kalahari resorts be America’s largest indoor waterpark destination without the African Safari experience that’s central to the Kalahari brand?

  2. Would a visit to a Disney Store in the local mall be nearly as inviting if images of Mickey Mouse didn’t greet you at the entrance?

  3. Would the Audubon Nature Institute achieve their goals of educating and entertaining guests while raising program funds without strong brand representation at their museums and parks?

  4. Would Best Buy be North America’s largest consumer electronics retailer without in-store experiences that lead with brand and guide shoppers quickly to what they seek?

The answer to all four questions is an emphatic no.

“The physical space is a vital extension of the brand and a big part of customers' first and lasting impressions.” – AIA, Branding by Design, How to Create Modern Retail Experiences

Inside a beautifully designed building with brand storytelling weaved throughout, customer experiences aren’t just transactional, they’re relational. At Kalahari resorts for instance, the raw beauty of Africa is noticeable everywhere. In gift shops that sell authentic African crafts, in the elephant’s trunk-themed waterslide, and on the floors that depict scenes from African safaris in brilliant detail. Families and convention guests arrive for a weekend of fun in Ohio, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin, and leave feeling as though they’ve actually explored Africa. The well-crafted brand experience keeps people coming back, and not surprisingly, keeps the company growing.

The Demand for Creativity in both Design and Construction is High.

Because specialized vendors have developed innovative technologies, creative visions once impossible or very expensive to attain are now quite possible – and quite affordable. Creative Edge is one of those specialized vendors. Nate Weaton is President & Chief Executive Officer of Weaton Capital, owner of the 30-year old Iowa-based company. “We bring the people, technology and experience to architects, designers and builders who want to bring creative brand visions to life. Through the years, we’ve played with technology and design processes to get us to a place where just about anything is possible. If they can dream it, we can create it.” Weaton went on to explain how they facilitate intricate designs in tile, terrazzo, vinyl, stone, metal and more. “Our design engineers transfer a client’s creative vision to any surface material. Using a variety of technologies; waterjet, ultrasonic, CNC routers, sand-blasters, etc.; we fabricate the installation-ready surface exactly to their specifications.” Technology makes the process quick, exact and repeatable, which facilitates consistent and frequent brand experiences. If a hotel wants its logo on the floor of each elevator bank in a 30-story hotel, identical logos are fabricated, assembled and delivered to the job site ready to be installed. If a new hotel is constructed in another city six months later, the same brand experience is easily repeated at the new site.

“We’ve invested in Creative Edge and focused our capabilities on the commercial construction market because we believe that demand for brand experiences in the buildings we visit as employees and consumers will only increase." – Nate Weaton, Creative Edge President and CEO

Designers can use any surface, indoors or out, in luxury or utilitarian materials to create brand experiences.

“When it comes to creative possibilities, the sky is the limit,” added Jim Thompson, Weaton Capital’s Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. “We knew this when Creative Edge was purchased roughly one year ago. The company has offered innovative fabrication and installation capabilities to our contractor partners for decades, but we weren’t talking to the A&D community directly. We now realize that our services can help contractors as well as architects and designers do some amazing things with ceramic, porcelain and luxury vinyl tile, natural stone, terrazzo, resilient flooring and lots more.”


We'd love to help you do more with floors in your space


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