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Thursday
Aug132015

Heads + Hearts: Consumer Engagement Where It Counts

Image © Gensler

Vote here for this SXSW Interactive Panel.

As the proliferation of online purchasing puts a global marketplace in everyone’s palm, how and why do select products emerge from the paralyzing pack of choices into the pantheon of “it” brands, whether for a fleeting moment or for generations? In today’s ultra-connected world, everyone has a voice. Consumers engage with brands on their own terms. Word of mouth drives their decisions. 94 percent of the time, a favorite brand will be recommended to family and friends but the challenge for brands today is to cut through the chatter of a zillion conversations. It means that brands have to connect holistically, taking an experiential approach. While people can opt in digitally, places and settings immerse them in messages, feelings, and information that align the brand with heads and hearts. Personally experiencing a brand means engaging with it emotionally so it’s valued and becomes an intrinsic part of life.

That’s a conversation that we hope to facilitate at SXSW Interactive Festival, a five day showcase of compelling panel sessions led by the brightest minds in emerging technologies and creativity – it’s the place to preview the technology of tomorrow. Like guests at the perfect dinner party, our thought-provoking panelists will debate and discuss this conundrum from the sometimes-conflicting points of view WSJ style columnist Christina Binkley, who tracks micro and macro trends in real time; neuroscientist Dr. James Thompson, who can trace a marketing message to the dopamine it triggers in a consumer; Melody Lee, the brand director charged with making Cadillac cool again. Please vote for our proposed panel here and send us to SXSW.

John Bricker is creative director at Gensler, a 35+ year veteran of the firm, who founded Gensler’s brand studio with an emphasis in retail and lifestyle brands. He has seen the firm grow from 300 to nearly 5,000 employees and become the largest architecture and design consulting firm in the world. During that time he has honed and pioneered a holistic design approach that links sensory environments, communication design, digital interaction and brand strategy together with interiors and architecture. Contact him at john_bricker@gensler.com.

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