A Memorable First Impression

Brand USA

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, right? Well, Brand USA doesn't have to worry about that with their eye-catching headquarters.

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Brand USA is the destination marketing organization for the United States. As their partner since 2012, Novak Birch provides comprehensive global and domestic marketing, trade show, and experiential services that support Brand USA’s mission to increase international visitation, enhance the image of the United States, and reinforce its position as the nation’s destination marketing organization.

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Novak Birch was tasked with updating Brand USA’s headquarters in Washington, DC, including the following objectives:

  • Brand the office space to welcome visitors and offer a strong, unified sense of Brand USA’s identity, mission, and achievements.
  • Incorporate an interactive component that engages visitors while informing them about U.S. states and territories and sharing their impact on the U.S. economy. The solution must enable Brand USA to customize and change content for specific visitors.

Download the full case study here.

We created an inviting, cohesive environment that engages Brand USA’s visitors and staff with an interactive digital program, dynamic feature walls, and sleek, professional branding throughout. Our solution included the following components:

  • Interactive Digital Program: To welcome visitors to the office, we devised a custom, interactive digital program for the elevator lobby that makes a stunning first impression. The dynamic program includes a ceiling-mounted projection system that displays an 18′ x 7′ map of the United States and its territories onto the elevator lobby floor. Nearby, a wall-mounted touchscreen shows a map of the USA with a “You Are Here” notation and welcome message. The screen invites visitors to select a state or territory, which is then projected onto the floor, cycling through animated, travel-related information, such as the number of annual visitors, amount of visitor spending, and a “did you know?” fact. This user-centric program allows visitors to pause the animation to allow for discussion or a detailed view. When left undisturbed, the program automatically cycles through each of the states and territories.
  • General Interior Branding: We branded the most frequently used spaces to create a professional, connected look-and-feel. To begin, we established a design platform that both complements and softens the existing office environment (which included a polished concrete floor, glass walls, white and slatted wood walls, and open, industrial ceilings). We incorporated a neutral color palette as well as high-end architectural finishes that align with Brand USA’s brand identity and offer a professional appearance while enabling the feature walls (detailed below) to shine.
  • Awards Wall: Upon entering the reception area, a large column wrapped in a tone-on-tone word wall showcases Brand USA’s awards on custom shelves, along with messaging sharing their commitment to excellence.
  • Board of Directors Wall: Down the hall from reception, we designed, fabricated, and installed this wall to recognize the current board, identifying members on dimensional, etched acrylic panels. At the center of the wall, the “Board of Directors” dimensional letters are applied to the textured, metallic finish used throughout the office.
  • Wall of Leaders: Similar to the Board of Directors wall and using the same elements, this wall recognizes those who have retired, with founding members displayed in the top row.
  • President & CEOs Wall: Using the same design style and materials, we highlighted the current president and CEOs on a large column near reception.
  • Partner Wall: To recognize Brand USA’s partners, we designed, fabricated, and installed a 24-foot-long feature wall, including:
    • A two-row cable system that features each of Brand USA’s partner levels, beginning at the center with the edge-lit Founding Partners panel, and extending outward to the other partner contribution levels.
    • Within each partner level section, there are acrylic frames with slots that allow Brand USA to display partner information. This flexible system enables staff to update the wall as needed.
    • Through the center of the wall, compelling messaging mounted onto a panel created using the same metallic finish conveys the shared mission of Brand USA’s partners and unites the partner levels on the large wall.
  • Conference Room Branding: We designed, fabricated, and installed a tone-on-tone word wall that utilizes glossy vinyl to portray the names of all states, territories, and the District—supporting Brand USA’s goal to promote the many parts of the USA. To further brand the room while increasing privacy and minimizing distractions, we frosted the center portion of the glass wall. In order to ensure that the glass door was visible, we fabricated a reverse-cut vinyl logo and placed it at eye level. We applied this reverse logo treatment to all conference room doors to provide a united, branded appearance throughout the office.

Download the full case study here.

  • Positive Feedback: Brand USA is pleased with their branded office space, as shown by the following testimonials:
    • “[The CEO] pulled me aside as I was walking by the elevators specifically to compliment your work on the redone floor and the CEO Wall. Excellent, excellent job, all.”
    • “The Partner Wall is up, and it is gorgeous! People have come up to us to tell us how awesome it is. Thank you.”
    • “Everyone loves the Board of Directors Wall! It looks great mounted and has gotten nothing but compliments. Thank you for all of the hard and precise work in creating it.”
    • “The map looks great, and the cities are very legible! Our staff is enjoying the new map. Thanks again!”
  • Follow-On Work: We continue to work with Brand USA to create new panels and feature walls and to expand the digital program content in the lobby.

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