A peek into the branded space of Skype's headquarters in Palo Alto

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In these days of global business, a company’s ability to create brand spaces to inspire and reflect their culture creates a key platform for brand strategy alignment. And as a fast growing disruptor of their category, the global internet-based telco Skype understand how critical brand culture is to their ongoing success. Working with San Fransisco-based architecture firm, Design Blitz, they transformed a vacant warehouse in Palo Alto into an engaging brand space that reflects the aspirations, values and personality of the brand.

As technology continues to reduce the barriers and accelerate the homogenization of products and services, a companies brand and its culture increasingly become the only sustainable opportunities for effective differentiation in their markets. A brand’s ability to attract, engage and inspire the best people to drive their business has arguably never been more critical. And in this hyper-competitive market of employer branding, the uber-cool office has become one of a companies most valuable assets. An awe-inspiring work space provides for a reinforcements of brand values – a powerful gesture that illustrates a walking of the talk. It provides a fertile ground for brand storytelling and creative collaboration. A well designed brand space is typically the combined work of a specialist branding agency in collaboration with a corporate interior design specialist. The result when done well can be so-much more than a jaw-dropping work space.

The pics below provide a peek behind the reception desk of Skype’s 54,000 sq foot Palo Alto headquarters in the US. The space features all the design innovations of contemporary work environments – ‘spaces for collaboration, concentration and contemplation’. The office design combines a lively and vibrant blend of contrasting spaces, textures, lighting and furnishings, creating a very human-friendly place to engage and inspire.

Design Blitz provide an insight into their creative methodology; “To understand Skype’s culture, we undertook extensive user-group surveying and researched workspace typology. Skype implements Scrum development (iterative idea generation) and a philosophy called ‘Agile Thinking’ (the affect of environment on thought process). To support Scrum a variety of environments have been created that facilitate different interactions.  A system of mobile whiteboards, or ‘Skype-Its’, is deployed throughout the space to capture ideas as they occur.”

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Dave Ansett
Chief Cre­ator of Brands
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All photographs by Matthew Millman and Hoffman Chrisman
All images courtesy of design blitz

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