People didn’t want to go back. After months of being cooped up in their homes, the world’s workforce didn’t necessarily want to head back into an office. In fact, after 2020, most of them never wanted to go back again. Companies that wanted to keep the best talent were forced to find a new alternative. A decade-old ‘new alternative’ needed to be ready for its close-up.
Give them liberty and give them breadth. Through deep partnered research, State of Assembly dismantled the contents, simplified it, and gave it a voice that looks and speaks—authentically—to their multiple audiences. It’s a voice, words, and design that captures democracy, emotion, and simple logic. It works from wherever it’s put to work.
How would LiquidSpace walk the razor’s edge between keeping alliances with those with old-world commodities and celebrating those who were ready for a new reality? State of Assembly listened in on debates, conversations, and discussions, giving us enough insight to create a concession and eventual agreement.
“The best piece of advice I ever got was from our first investor Paul Graham; he said, it’s better to have 100 people who love you than a million people that sort of like you.” To see Brian Chesky’s face, the founder of Airbnb, at that moment was probably akin to watching a sunrise. A slow light chasing darkness from the long night before. The success of Airbnb was based on just making a few people pleased. Not everyone had to love them. And what Paul, the investor, knew was you don’t build a brand then shove it in people’s faces. What works is to create customers. Customers who identify with each other naturally. These people will go find people like them—like we all do. It’s not about features, benefits, or experience. It was about identification, catering to people who would love for who you are, and letting them do the work of spreading the word. An association with others who think in similar ways regardless of differences in status characteristics is called Value Homophily. Or believers. Where were the LiquidSpace believers? Where were the loving 100? They are at WAR! There’s an old and a new guard in commercial real estate, and they are fighting on the streets. This fighting is not the war—this was a battle—the Battle of Commercial Real Estate, like Waterloo, Gettysburg, Agencourt. And LiquidSpace was in this battle, picking up arms and tactics from marketing, PR, and advertising agencies, but how would this affect the war? This war brings eminent change. It will affect your life, your child’s, mine. It’s an ideological war. A war between those who want liberty and those who demand control. This is a war between employees who want to work from where it works versus managers who want to see you in the office at eight. LiquidSpace’s 100 are found in this street battle; fighters for liberty. The people who believe and know that a proper work environment enhances the quality and the efficiency of work. LiquidSpace knows who these people are; they work with them every day. They are entrepreneurs, founders, CEOs, heads of workplace hustlers. The father of economics and capitalism, Adam Smith, felt that those who form governments mistakenly think of them like chess boards. These strategists plan out success based on a piece’s rules of movement, conveniently ignoring that people are not pawns—or knights or queens. People don’t move just diagonally. They don’t go up one and two over. People do want they want. People, unlike chess pieces, can move wherever and whenever they want. They can even simply stop playing—walk right off the board. That’s liberty, and that’s capitalism. 20 years ago, companies held 100% of the leverage in a job interview. Today the leverage has changed. For example, consider how often you hear the word talent versus an employee. Talent insinuates a natural aptitude or skill. To employ insinuates use until energy is spent. Employees have gained much more leverage—these are chess pieces of self-awareness. They move wherever they want. And they will always go for the best option. Good or bad liberty is inevitable. LiquidSpace is on the side of liberty, and they know they need to be in this movement. LiquidSpace has to support its believers. Grow it, partner with it, organize it. A LiquidSpace Vice-President told us, “A team of five is out there, growing quickly. If they are with LiquidSpace, maybe they never lease an office? Let’s stop a company before they start leasing an office they don’t want, need, or can’t afford.” This put a lot in perspective for us. It’s true that LiquidSpace was already working with big names, landing big accounts. Still, there are hundreds, thousands of businesses that they could save. These are the early-adopting leaders, forward-thinking hustlers driven by a purpose and thoughtful motives. They cared about treating their people well and were sympathetic to their personal needs. If LiquidSpace helps them, these people will help LiquidSpace—symbiotic. These believers and freedom fighters, there is a lot of business to be had. We, State of Assembly, interviewed many people but gained the most knowledge watching the street battle. Through research on social media, interviews, and podcasts, we could see that the believers had demands. They wanted comfortable work environments that fit the moment’s needs anytime or anywhere. They wanted to work with the best talent. They wanted purchases and interactions to be simple. And they want to work with companies that care, those with a greater purpose. And they have rules. They have strong opinions and fight for what they feel is right. They are self-assured advocates of choice that avoid controlling people. They tend to be irreverent, looking for discussion, and ready to debate. How would LiquidSpace connect with its believers on an emotional brand level? It needed to be a human story. “More happy people working in fewer buildings, the planet smiles” is what the founder of LiquidSpace has been saying for 10 years. We thought if we can take this spirit and compound it with a focus on this greater war—that’s where you would find the LiquidSpace purpose—To change the environment of work for good. Do we mean the planet? Yes. The ‘environment’ is right in the center. Like the workplace environment? Yes, it should work for each of us. When we say for good, does that mean forever? Yes. It’s a purpose meant to drive this business for 100 years. Do we mean for the positive? Yes. Without a doubt. LiquidSpace wants you in the right place—they want to change the environment of work for good. How does would LiquidSpace do this? Through values specific to who they are. They behave in a way that gets people in a good place: mentally, physically, and environmentally. Everyday LiquidSpace focuses on being smart, ambitious, flexible, efficient, and worthy of trust. They are building a system where people can “work from where it works.” Work from where it works for yourself, an organization, the planet. This is liberation, and you can’t halt this current. You can’t contain freedom. We represent this through our design as a line, a stream of motion flowing freely and openly bypassing the archaic structure that’s in place. On a Post It, the line seemed to have no beginning or end. It started at an infinite distance and never ended, rolling past the edge. This 2 by 2 inspiration sent to us from the founder gave us layers of meaning. The fluidity of liberty, the forward momentum that speaks to a cutting edge of technology and innovation. It literally breaks out of the box. The use of subtle location markers connects people in places, a synergy with the environment. This regenerative cycle goes in and out, returns, and feeds on itself in a positive regeneration. It’s a direction for LiquidSpace that always flows forward. An inevitable current of technology and innovation. It’s a channel that connects people, places, and times. And like their customers and themselves, it goes where it goes. It works from where it works.