Your office is where your brand lives.

When determining the creative attributes of your real brand, think color and shape. What speaks to you and your company? Move on to sounds, feel, taste and smell. Imagine these elements and how they bring your brand to life. To accomplish this task, gather magazines and fabrics, and then clip the ones that you find most appealing. And dream.

Tracey Ballas, CEO and president of School-Age NOTES in New Albany, Ohio, started her career as an elementary-school teacher, so she understands this process. When she created the work space for her company, she installed four times the number of recommended lights, using traditional lighting to give the office a more home-like feel. The walls are painted a sunny yellow and filled with original artwork created by professional artists and children. Tracey frequently makes lunch for staff meetings and birthdays, and her two dogs come to work and provide comfort and warmth. Because this is a publishing company where reading is a regular activity, comfy chairs and footrests are the norm. Still, the pace is busy.

If School-Age NOTES walked down the street, what would it look like personified? “It would look like Jennifer Lopez with her energy, style and flair,” says Tracey. “However, it acts more like Mrs. Doubtfire, with warmth, humor, wisdom and a nurturing spirit.”

For more ideas, see Life Lesson 10 of Real You Incorporated: The five senses of branding.