Want to Wake up Your Town or Business?

By Bruce Firestone | Uncategorized

Apr 22

Want to wake up your town or business? Create some buzz? Build your brand?

Why not hire an experience designer?

An “experience designer”, what the heck is that?

I didn’t know either til I read Hide and Go Party, Bloomberg Businessweek, April 11-24, 2016, https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-design/a/ida-benedetto/.

It’s a story about two young people (in their 30s) who create events in unusual spaces and places, some of them illegal like the time they recreated a speakeasy in an (empty) water tower on top of a vacant building on Manhattan’s west side.


Ida Benedetto barge party invitation, Bloomberg Businessweek 

One of the fastest growing parts of tourism is… experiential tourism, giving tourists special experiences and memories rather than say another week spent drunk in a disco or on the beach. 

My thought is to redesign entire villages, towns, cities and organizations as “experiences” starting with each individual house, apartment, business, organization, building and space, both public and private.

If you are creating a new physiotherapy clinic, registered massage therapy clinic or spa, design it with an overall experience in mind. 

Building a coach house in your backyard? Same thing.

Putting your spare bedroom or basement apartment on airbnb for rent? Same thing–treat it as an experience. Maybe, for example, you offer to introduce your guests to a social network, help them find a job, curate their experience in your town, take them snowmobiling… whatever. 

Building a new subdivision or retail plaza? Why not put in a sports park with room for two or three food trucks too?

Why is this important? Why not be boring? 


-millennials are the most brand conscious generation ever

-if you want to keep young people at home or convince them to come back to your town, it’d better be a cool place

-if you want to attract new clients or keep existing ones, a good brand is key–even if you are running something as mundane as a mini storage place, if your frontyard is all junked up with old beaters, it won’t inspire much confidence in your ability to keep people’s stuff safe

-a great brand builds trust, which helps you sell more stuff and at higher prices (ask Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, if a top brand nets you higher margins and more sales…)

-selling more stuff at higher prices leads to more economic activity and the sine qua non of everything–MORE JOBS

Want your city, town or village to be more successful and sustainable? Then provide more opportunity for homegrown entrepreneurs and generate more employment.

@ profbruce @ quantum_entity

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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.