CASE STUDY: AUSTIN, TEXAS
To re-frame the questions our clients are asking about consumer segments, we created a program set in Austin, Texas. It’s a city that defines itself by “keeping Austin weird”, and is home to counterculture artists, start-up technology companies, and of course, musicians.
WALK, LEARN, AND DINE: SOUTH CONGRESS
We challenged each team to focus on a particular market segment while exploring Austin. Teams observed user experience, customer service, and design. How is each location differentiating itself? Who is the target customer?
WALK, DRINK, DINE: UP AND COMING NEIGHBORHOOD, RAINEY STREET
The latest hotspot in Austin, local scenesters have finally found a middle ground between Sixth Street’s dive bars and fratty West Fifth Street boites: Rainey Street, where a row of Dust Bowl–era bungalows is now the city’s coolest bar and emerging restaurant scene.
THE CULINARY SCENE
Some of Austin’s best grub can be found in vacant lots, dished out of Air-streams and food trucks by both amateur and professional chefs. We challenge our clients to find a few via social media –most of them can be located via Twitter and Foursquare.
The poetics of Experience Design carry one major difference from those of say… theater. That is, in experience design, the audience are the players. The spotlight is on the participants, with everyone involved and thinking. Without such a program, many projects risk losing the traction they’ve already gained, simply because an idea alone lacks the same powers of shock, awe, and movement-to-action as the experience that comes from it.
But here’s the thing. Most businesses already know they can’t survive in a competitive marketplace unless they connect deeply with and offer something valuable to their customers, anticipate emerging needs and behavior, and work continuously to evolve.
Which means that most businesses already have pretty founded ideas about why they don’t need other ideas. Thus, our experience design practice is deployed to crack the floodwalls of inertia and give voice to latent inspiration. The immersive nature draws participants out of themselves into something different – an analogous industry, event, market, or product – and gives them a chance to learn and discuss in an indirect and influential way.
We know that growth has many stages. It can start from scratch, or emerge from a product or service that has already reached a level of success. So whether you’re working to sustain a successful product through expansion, developing a breakthrough solution, charged with shifting behavior or disrupting a market, finding a solution requires creative thinking, external focus, and a clear understanding of opportunities. Only then can you get from idea to development, and finally, to execution.
The program design blends cultural anthropology, ethnography, and market intelligence all wrapped up into one unique set of Experiences. Participants will feel shocked, will be in awe, will be inspired, and most importantly, they’ll land on their feet ready to get things done. The beauty of the program is in the flexibility; the genius is tapping into the world around us. It is our laboratory.
a sampling of other excursions
Seattle: Cloud Life
STAY Hotel Andra
Miami: Brand Summit
EXPERIENCE Luxury Brands
Where we’re headed in the coming months to learn, engage & be inspired. Feel free to join us.