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Entries in Brand Design (29)


Brand Engagement: People and Passion, Part Two

1871 at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. Photo by Antuany Smith, © Gensler.

In my first blog post I said that engagement is emotional, not transactional. And yet unfortunately I’ve seen too many companies try to measure customer engagement with transactional metrics like social media likes or follows, mobile downloads, and other online or digital interactions. These can certainly be signals of engagement, and fortunately are (relatively) easy to quantify, but they can’t define engagement on their own. We have to go deeper to truly understand what drives emotion – the foundation of real engagement.

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Brand Engagement: People and Passion, Part One

McEvoy Ranch at the Ferry Building in San Francisco. Photo by Sherman Takata, © Gensler.

Brands are people; people are brands. This statement may resemble clichéd jargon, but it’s true. Here’s why: consumers actively choose brands based on personal values and aspirations, which is not so different from the way we choose our friends, significant others, spouses. This kind of alignment of personal priorities sparks real emotion and connection. And, companies don’t create brands, people do. Companies create new services, products, names, logos; but its’ customers—people—who give them life and longevity by making them a part of their own lives. This kind of engagement is emotional, not transactional. It’s all about people and passion.

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SSHHH Brand Silence 

Image © World actuality.com

Look around you on your journey to work, and you’ll see the constant need for human interaction with technology. Examples abound, from a person listening to a favourite artist on an iPod, to someone catching up with news or posting weekend achievements to social media sites on a smart phone. Humans in first world countries have become a race that’s constantly switched on. And whilst brands are increasingly savvy to our addictions and looking to push their message through different digital channels, the lasting effect from such promotional efforts can be detrimental: a brand’s message can devolve into brand noise.

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Brand Engagement: Getting to the “Why”

The subtle details of design can embody clients’ missions, motivations, heritage and history. Shown here: Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, Illinois. Photos by Stephen Kellogg and Christina Visscher © Gensler

When reading the 2013 Gensler Brand Engagement Survey results, I was struck by the many parallels between the ideas about consumer brand engagement and the way that our brand design discipline delivers work to our own customers. Much like the customer engagement pyramid that inspired our research, we seek to meet expectations, meet desires and ultimately meet our client’s unrecognized needs. We do this by engaging our clients in a process that includes three steps—Define. Design. Deliver.

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Giving Thanks: A Brand Love Letter

Photo source: thecoveteur.com

Do your customers or clients love you enough to write you a love letter? Will they proclaim their love for you from the mountaintops? Congratulations if they will! This kind of emotional engagement equals loyalty and revenue for your brand.

Gensler’s 2013 Brand Engagement Survey polled over 2,800 US consumers and the results reveal that there are three keys to brand engagement. Achieve these three things and your customers will love you – really love you.

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