As a successful business in the co-working space, Runway East took a pause for reflection during COVID-19. Thanks to a responsible approach to growth, this pause was not a crisis! Instead, it was an opportunity to think about the long term vision for the company.

To explore this, Natasha Guerra, Runway East (RWE) Founder and CEO had started to conduct brand positioning research and came across the STANCE ® course, Essential Brand Positioning for Start-Ups.

A conversation followed that lead to a STANCE Strategic Mentored Workshop, which happened in August 2020.

Time for change

The RWE branding was starting to feel a little tired and reflected where the company had come from, rather than where it was headed.

STANCE lept at the opportunity to get involved and help out on the new direction.

The scope of the project wouldn’t be without limits. For example, complete refurbishments of the co-working sites were not on the cards, so our thinking couldn’t extend as far as dreamy architectural partnerships with Norman Foster or wellness collaborations with the likes of Headspace.

Instead, the brief would be to unearth the goodness within so that RWE focus on solid business growth with a strong sense of personality.

STANCE strategic mentored workshop

Culture and community are well-trodden ground for co-working spaces, yet it’s often said and not meant. In the case of RWE, service is not an empty promise, it’s a real differentiator and one that we had to crystallize into an original set of words.

RWE undertook a two-hour STANCE workshop of games and exercises designed to discuss, debate and deliberate all areas of the brand story. As such, the job of the moderator is to listen out for the soundbites that can end up forming the backbone of the story.

During the exercise, ‘Newsroom’ is was said that,

“Small businesses really value the cultural experience they get here. It’s hard to build a culture with a small team. We set them off on the right path.”

During the exercise, ‘Wakey Wakey’ another nugget was,

“What I really love is giving our members a day they wouldn’t have expected.”

These two statements would form the backbone of the Situation and Transformation of STANCE. From the Newsroom soundbite, we coined the belief statement:

“We believe business booms when you start with culture”

From Wakey Wakey, a vision statement:

“We see a world where every day at work is a celebration”

And from this an Expression:

“Celebrate the everyday”

Walking the walk

Branding only works when it is sincere. If a brand says something and doesn’t mean it, people quickly lose confidence in what that brand has to say.

When other co-working spaces talk about culture and service, hidden printing charges or costly hidden fees can often bubble to the surface in the same breath. Not so with RWE, they talk the talk and walk the walk.

When businesses from Runway East fly the nest, a strong culture is one of the imprints left by their time in the co-working space. This is why we all felt a strong connection to the phrase “Business booms when you start with culture”.

When they say, “Every day at work is a celebration”, they mean it. Surprise cake, dogs in the office and lots of drinks events see this brought to life through the ingenuity of their team.

Everyone at RWE is there to help… Otherwise, they wouldn’t be there.

Creating a brand launch strategy with the right attitude

In the STANCE® acronym of Situation, Transformation, Attitude, Niche, Confidence and Expression, the archetypes fit into A for Attitude. Considering which archetype your personality will help you define this attitude. You can download the STANCE Brand Positioning Framework or read another case study here.

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