The challenge for companies today is finding ways to build a relatable brand or stay relevant in the eyes of today’s consumer. Consumers more than ever are longing to connect to places, and for brands that “live” in the built environment, finding ways to create a sense of discovery within their four walls is paramount to building those connections. It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, the physical space matters. With technology rapidly changing the way we interact today, people want you to know where they are and what they are experiencing. People are tuned into design; they take pictures of food, architecture and ambiance. They want everyone to know that they are a part of something really cool. People are Instagramming, Snapchatting, and posting photos wherever they go creating communities within brands.
Today’s consumer is all about the experience. They want to feel ‘I belong here’, ‘this company understands me’, and in a way, are elevated to a place that is actually the essence of the brand itself. From hotels to retailers to restaurants, brands are more focused on creating real connections with their customers.
Take Marriott, for example. This Company, who was primarily known as a straight down the middle hotel company, has created a new brand called Moxy to appeal to the millennial crowd. From their website to the design of the hotel, the entire guest experience is about creating a connection that takes the hotel guest on a journey.
Soul Cycle is another great example of a brand that utilizes every square foot of their studios to build brand engagement. From the customized scent of the Jonathan Adler candle that stimulates your senses the minute you walk into the studio, to the motivational messaging, you immediately feel part of the Soul Cycle community.
Even service businesses are using design to propel their brands in new and creative ways. Take MRY for example; I walk in the office every morning and am inspired to work because of the open design and palpable energy that stimulates and fosters creativity. It’s a place I want to show off to my friends. With the bright colors, glass meeting rooms, and in-house barista, MRY has not only become a place that produces great work, but also, is a place that defines who we are as a company.