01 May Is your building your most powerful media channel?
The operations centre for Britain’s most established car rescue service, the Royal Automobile Club (RAC), is located next to a road. In fact, one of the UK’s busiest roads, the M6. The iconic building is made predominantly of glass, simultaneously allowing passing cars to see the operations hub in action as well as allowing those inside to look at their customers.
This is an excellent example of a business living and breathing their stated intent: ‘Doing more to get you moving’ because you can actually see them doing it! Their building is the perfect manifestation of their brand and their offer. Not only that, but the building is the RAC’s most powerful & high profile communication vehicle. The glass walls become an impactful billboard sending messages directly to their motorist audience at the perfect time (whilst they are driving). As you can see in the image, there is no need to take out paid advertising on seek.com when your stunning flagship mission control pronounces ‘Recruiting now!’ to millions of drivers every week.
The concept of a business locating itself in the epicentre of what it does seems so logical on so many levels, it is a wonder more don’t do it. The location makes a powerful statement to employees, stakeholders and customers alike: we are serious about what we do and we understand our market.
Too often businesses choose the location for their headquarters based on lowest possible cost and end up in a business park in nowhereville struggling to attract employees and invisible to customers. But what if we changed our lens and looked at our showcase buildings as an investment in the brand and the employees who work there? What if we calculated the media value of our buildings per annum, reduced our outdoor advertising budget by the corresponding amount and re-allocated that money to the building cost?
If we took that approach, where would you put your building and more importantly, how would you use it as an ongoing communication vehicle?