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Entries in Brand (35)


The Paradox of People

Image © Ben Weis

I don’t really mind my commute.

As a passenger in a two-person carpool, I get to look out the window at the scenery of D.C.—how many people get that look at the Lincoln and Washington monuments heading in every day?— and spend a few extra minutes with my driver-husband while he maneuvers the city streets and terrible drivers from Maryland. (Sorry, local jab.)

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Real Estate Marketing: The Allure of a Lifestyle Brand

28 Liberty marketing materials. Image © Gensler

Consumer brands have long been able to attract customers by creating an entire lifestyle around their brand: images, messages and experiences that suggest a common point of view, a shared set of beliefs, membership in a tribe. The same holds true with hospitality brands. Just think of the letter W and not only does an aesthetic spring to mind, but you can also guess what kind of music will be playing in the lobby, what items will be in the mini bar, even how the other guests will be dressed. That’s the power of branding. Brands are about more than just a product or an ad; the logo is really just a shorthand symbol for a whole series of attributes and experiences—physical, verbal, and emotional.

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Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands

Image © Gensler

Whenever my husband and I travel outside of the United States, we like to play a game called “count the American sports logos.” On our last trip to Italy, we spied over 50, including those of the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Los Angeles Lakers, and to our surprise, the Washington Wizards (we saw a full-on official John Wall Washington Wizards jersey). But the ones we saw the most belonged to the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys. Surprise, surprise.

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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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