Building a brand
Most marketers agree that having a great product or service today may not be enough to ensure success. However, if it also has strong brand recognition, it stands a better chance of winning. This might be why, when The Eastman Egg Company recently was awarded funding of $1.5 million dollars to open more locations of their breakfast and lunch business, they sought out Chicago’s Woodhouse Tinucci Architects and their new WoodTin Build division.
The work for the The Eastman Egg Company brand – to communicate the hand-crafted, artisanal nature of its food and the efficiency with which it is served – has been translated throughout all three locations, a concept that WoodTin Build then carried throughout the building of the latest venue.
“We developed WoodTin Build as an added-value service for our clients,” said Woodhouse Tinucci Architects Principal Andy Tinucci. “We want to assure an easy, seamless transition from the architecture stages through the design process for every project and for every client. Integrating architect-led design/build capabilities into our practice is the best way to do this.” The new division serves as the single point of contact for the client and work together in house to
design a project and then oversee its construction, working hand-in-hand with contractors they know and trust on every detail. Adding this new division allows a brand to have a consistent vision from the concept to the final construction.
Q & A : TALKING BUILT BRAND WITH WOODHOUSE TINUCCI ARCHITECTS AND THEIR NEW WOODTIN BUILD DIVISION
Q: Designing across the three locations – how was the vision carried throughout while still maintaining a unique yet cohesive look for each location?
A: Our goal for Eastman Egg was to create a simple palette that emphasized their handmade sandwiches and prioritized unique customer experience over an immediately recognizable brand or signature look. We endeavored to allow the design of each store to be driven by creating an experience that was aligned with Eastman’s company values. One of the primary design inspirations for each store is their handmade sandwiches made of high quality ingredients. We hypothesized that by experimenting with materials that emphasize this hand-hewn quality along efficient and logical spatial organizations, their brand as a three-dimensional space would emerge.
Q: Speak to the importance of creating this brand recognition in the design of each location.
A: The Eastman Egg Company wants their customer’s experience in their store to be the best part of their day. Their customers pay a bit more for this experience because they value high quality local ingredients, a chef driven menu, and architecturally thoughtful space, and to experience all of it in a manner that respects the customer’s busy schedule. Eastman Egg is successful if the customer experiences each of these feelings in each of their restaurants.
Q: Talk about the method and philosophy with 3d branding and how it relates to the practice now. (How you are moving branding into the physical world in built form. Not just the flat 2d graphics and printed materials commonly associated with branding.)
A: A key part of branding of any type is memory. Whether 2D or 3D, if an idea is not memorable it will struggle to catch on as a recognizable identity. However, something memorable does not have to be bold or iconic. Memorable space can be subtle and discoverable. The main difference between 2D and 3D branding is the concept of time. Three-dimensional space is immersive, and so a more memorable space is one that is not a one-liner, but reveals more and more with each closer look. Although Eastman Egg prioritizes an efficient customer experience, memorable moments can be embedded even in a reduced period of time. The idea of three-dimensional space as a brand is tied, then, to experience more than any one material, color, or logo. As such, each The Eastman Egg Company restaurant aims to convey their ethos to each customer through a process of discovery.
Q: Do you see incorporating 3d branding (branding the built form), as an imperative practice for all buildings in the future?
A: In short, yes, branding will continue to grow ever more important—but not simply in a marketing sense. Branding will become more and more nuanced and embedded within architectural space. Branding of three-dimensional space should aim to separate itself from more traditional brand identity, and is at its highest form when it is almost imperceptible.