The pervasiveness of digital media and its integration to our lives is influencing the structure of our brains as well as our physical environments. Digital place-based media, handheld devices and emerging technologies are changing the way retailers, restaurateurs, hoteliers and myriad other businesses, need to communicate with their customers.
While Millennials are all the focus of many businesses trying to capture this market of consumers, there is a generation of emerging guests for whom expectations about how brand experiences should unfold are changing the paradigm of what a branded experience will be in a digitally mediated future. How does a brand experience remain relevant when you consider that the idea of a ‘Generation Gap’ is morphing into a “Brain Gap” between ‘older’ and Gen Z guests?
This generation of shoppers sits at the transition between what we know as traditional brand experience places and those we see in science fiction movies. The Internet connects not just people in extended social network groups but customer’s minds into a collective global cognitive network that is far more complex than it has ever been before. Understanding the influence of our digital culture on young brains is a must when providing experiences that matter.
The evolution of digital technologies will promote a move in the creation of experience from the hands of the designer to those of the consumer enabled with mobile digital devices. In a digitally distracted world, the relevancy of a ‘place’ will reside with the customer, because they will actively participate in modifying their experience, creating ‘chatter that matters’ because they participate in making it themselves.
David Kepron is the Vice President of Design within the Global Design Strategies department at Marriott International. His focus is on the creation of compelling customer experiences within a unique group of Marriott flags called the “Distinctive Premium Brands” including: Renaissance, Westin, Le Meridien, Autograph Collection, Tribute Portfolio and Design Hotels. His multidisciplinary approach to design focuses on understanding consumer behavior and the creation of relevant brand experiences at the intersection of architecture, sociology, neuroscience and emerging digital technologies. In the fall of 2014 STMedia Group International published Kepron’s first book titled: “Retail (r)Evolution: Why Creating Right-Brain Stores Will Shape the Future of Shopping in a Digitally Driven World.”
At 3Cinteractive (3C), Jeremy is responsible for partnership, market and strategic opportunity development. Working closely with clients, he uses a combination of creativity and business acumen to engage with brands as a trusted partner who innovates, designs and delivers disruptive mobile programs. Jeremy has leveraged his deep mobile knowledge to help create products and offerings for some of America’s largest and most admired brands. Jeremy has more than 10 years of experience in mobile with a focus on business development, sales and client operations. Prior to joining 3C, Jeremy spent six years with Verizon Business as a branch manager in their enterprise practice.
Mark Tan is currently a Sr. Product Manager at Amazon focusing on user experience for consumer sellers and used products. His work spans across different categories, which include video games, electronics, books, music and movies. He is also managing a non-profit organization, Luminated Career Consulting and acts as an advisor for the University of Washington, Foster School of Business BIG Consulting Program. Previously, he worked as Product Manager for Quixey, a mobile app search and discovery startup based in California, establishing groundwork for deep-linking during its early stages and integrating this technology to partners such as Alibaba.
Lee Auerbach has almost two decades of experience building and leading sales teams to success. After pivoting half way through his career to the digital sector (Tribune Interactive, Economist, Motivequest, Groupon), he now focuses on Big Data and how to convert analytics into action. The key learning is that 92% (and rising) of consumers vet local options via maps like Google Maps If you can organically rank better, review better, socialize better, and moderate better… Then you will win the vetting race every time for every store. Winning a customer naturally is more powerful than any advertisement.