ANY BRAND HAS TO THINK ABOUT ITS PLACE—THE PLACE THAT IT MAKES: HOW PEOPLE EXPERIENCE IT AND HOW THE STORYTELLING THAT IS REVEALED—AND, IN THAT, HOW THAT FEELS.
I learned about brand and place-making earliest in my career—at the very beginning—college trade—painting brand-based environments, building skins, shopfront design, furniture, plants and objects, installations and interior graphical treatments, organizing art, merchandising, signing, store and story planning—this time, the 70s, was a potent and unforgettable learning. What that comes to is—if there’s a brand, and there’s a story, then what does it look like, feel like—and most importantly, is it memorable? An unforgettable kind of memorable—people can describe it—“I went there, and it was like this, it had this, it felt like this—and yeah, I liked it.” That’s the point, storytelling—content, and contentment.
In the shaping of content you’re reaching to create contentment. To design like that, it would imply and ability to listen to the brand, what alignments you can create, between the storytelling and the experience of that telling—and what materiality is relevant to building that proposition. So, there’s something for them—in the shaping of content, there is a quest for contentment. What feels right? Doing that, too—you need to know why people are happy in their place, and what would draw them out to another journey, another place? That comes to key questions:
Know more? Watch and observe, study the context of people in their places.
Ask questions of those experiencers—what’s happy for you, in this place?
What is it for them?
How are they doing?
What are they being?
Good question, too, to think of these questions in the holism of brands, how enterprise works and he leadership—as well as the story. What does it do, why is it here? Why is this brand here—to what does it respond, what core challenge does it answer, what alignment in belief and need does it deliver? Same with a place, and selfsame to the alignment of brand and place. All good questions.
What is the culture of a place,
and how does it influence people?
Is this place happy?
Is this place unhappy?
As I note in an older colored calligraphy – “you are the child of your landscape.”
What you live,
is evidenced in the interweaving of you—in your environment.
And to be in an environment presumes that
you are an aggregate of your conditions of your life—and place, well made.
And you are made
You make the place —
and the place makes you.
Surrounding, literally—is the flow around—so in the quality of how you immerse yourself in your place— you’re either here, or there, or not.
To the work of a brand experience designer, and their experiencer sojourner—the journey-in,
and the journey-out—
it is a matter of
what selected elements—
of that “thingness” in place —
align to a personal way that you are there,
You happily sync to the sense of color and light;
there are things to touch—that are just right;
you align to the sounds and scents—and yes, tastes —
of what could be found in this place.
There you go.
There you be.
Tim Girvin | Osean Studios | Seattle Waterfront
GIRVIN | BRANDSPEED rapid innovation