The next-wave of innovation will be moment-driven
We are staring down the era of desire to be different. Search on LinkedIn and see how many companies now employ Innovation Directors or Chief Innovation Officers. I myself answer to the title “Aesthetic Innovator” (also “Creative Revolutionary.” But that’s for another post).
Every business and brand wants to innovate. Disrupt. Create the next shiny new big thing. Many would argue that innovation is the cornerstone of differentiation. And they are not wrong. But what is the real benefit of being better, faster, cooler, cheaper? Growth? Profits? Or the people you’re trying to attract, who are the real movers of your bottom line?
Too many brands have forgotten their ‘why.’ They’ve lost the essence of what makes a brand desirable in the first place. People want to be wowed. Touched. Seen and connected with. The next shiny thing, invention or whizmajig can’t do that on its own. The experience and moments users have with this innovation can.
Love for the moment
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who couldn’t hear the music.” – Friedrich Nietzsche.
I love this quote. It reminds me that creating the future requires intense passion, and that the changemakers and visionaries are the ones who can see what’s right here in front of us (aka hear the music), but from a different perspective.
The future is already happening right now with the Experience Economy. Brand leaders know people aren’t coming through their doors just to buy a product, they can do that online. So if everyone is trying to attract customers or patrons through experiences, how can a brand, space or place set themselves apart and become a sought-after destination?
By thinking in and innovating moments.
In this day and age, it’s no longer enough to provide great goods, service, food, amenities, architecture, technology. Customers expect all of that. Whether it’s a hotel, restaurant, retail store or destinations, the wow moments are the real differentiators, the innovative new amenity. Those extraordinary experiences and unexpected touches that provoke positive emotion and connection.
Moments are the essence of our lives. A baby’s first cry or step, your first kiss, the taste of ice cream, a beautiful song. They leave an imprint on our souls, they’re what we remember about a milestone or experience.
I want the moments to be more memorable. The spaces more touching. My team of aesthetic innovators and spatial storytellers are designing moments of extraordinary impact that let a brand’s uniqueness be felt. And not just in a flat, one-dimensional on-screen way. In real life. We make people feel with all senses, infusing the culture and character that drive brand desire, making people love you. We are all here on this earth to feel and react, express and absorb, remember and desire and want more than need. In our relentless quest for innovation, we have forgotten this human truth.
Technology alone is not the way forward.
As our technological and intellectual evolution has accelerated, it has caused us to expect innovation in all aspects and levels of life. We want to progress at all times and believe that technology can do it all. We have come to value quantity over quality. Even moonshots have become commonplace. Everything is fast, easy, cheap.
But we forgot that storytelling, emotions, beauty and aesthetics are rarely generated by technology. They are human. We can wear a computer on our wrist that will give us our emails, our heart rate, every single one of our apps, but it will never give us the feeling of wearing the Patek Phillipe watch our grandfather wore. We can have over a thousand books on our tablet but we can’t feel the paper and the story, can’t replicate the experience of holding a 50-year-old book in our hands. You can’t engineer or mass produce passion or history. AI is a poor substitute for our own imagination.
I am excited by the glimmers I see, of our society’s return to a more human experience. The desire of many to reduce time spent on touch screens, to instead be touched in real life. We are desperate for real experiences that will touch, move, and make us feel! Experiences that will be attached to the brand, memorable and sharable through technology. Even social media is losing its luster, so much of it features shared experiences that the lucky ones experienced live.
We were all starved for wow after Covid. Craving more emotions in all aspects of life. We are unimpressed by current generic architecture and amazed by Gaudi or Gehry. We want that difference. We want to go beyond the expected, such as good food or a great selection of drinks in the bar, and find the extra in the ordinary. Discover new landmarks. Be enveloped in the character of a place, be part of its charisma, experience the magic of the cultural elements that lie between myth and legend, story and fairytale. Imagine the impact your brand could have if you made people dream while they are awake and revel in the moment.
We can click a button and have almost anything shipped to our home tomorrow. But do you know what you can’t buy on Amazon? Culture.
Momentscaping: the alchemy of charisma
What are the elements that make a moment extraordinary? Is it the lighting, the music, décor, scent, texture, mood or energy? How do we infuse that “it” factor, making a brand, space or place cool and coveted?
This emerging specialty is an artful elixir of the unique and unforgettable. The alchemy of charisma. The Bella Figura of your brand. We all know landscaping – the process of beautifying our backyards and parks so they’re spotlessly harmonic. My studio takes a similarly hands-on approach to sculpt and scape the moments within a branded experience. They are curated and carefully designed, with human emotion at the forefront.
Momentscaping elevates physical settings into destinations of desire through aesthetic innovation, spatial storytelling and evocative multisensory experience design. We craft moments of extraordinary impact, making brands cool and sexy, giving them the right charisma.
Whether we are collaborating with a hotel or restaurant looking to enhance their impact or a retailer in need of a total revolution, there are myriad ways our momenstcaping artists will infuse magic, from the sights, sounds, style and mood to the overall storytelling. By reimagining every element of the branded physical space, we make people feel, react and become zealous participants.
Our approach is an amalgamation of a wide range of disciplines, combining the arts, scenography, dramaturgy, technology, creative direction and experience design with psychology, sociology, anthropology, culture, marketing and branding. Drawing from all these seemingly disparate fields of study gives us the fresh perspective needed to give birth to the new and unexpected. Understanding and appealing to human desire, we’re answering brand innovators’ desire to be different.
And we are inventing the future, one moment at a time.