Evolution to Application: Feelings-led XD Focus – The 2022 Edit


Lots of marketing “experts” make lots of lofty promises—but their returns on investment fall short. Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas saw that happening and knew it was time for something completely different.

They turned to G+A not just for a facelift but for a completely new and integrated approach to their space, event planning, staff, digital marketing, and company culture—with amazingly productive results.

Not only was their use of the Feelings-led 4D Framework a success story from start to finish, but the experience brought a renewed focus to G+A as well. Rather than an “all things to all people” approach, G+A is using 2022 to hone in on core customers in the mixed-use development, bar, restaurant, and boutique hospitality industries.

The Origin of the Feelings-led 4D Framework

Here at G+A, we believe in being simple, easy, and fun to work with— that’s why we’re narrowing the focus of our work and our blog for 2022. Chart our progress as we develop fresh ideas and unique events designed to illuminate, enlighten and delight both customers, clients, and guests.

I have ample proof that the Feelings-led 4D Framework works when designing any experience in life—an event, your approach to dating, renovating a home from top-to-bottom—and so many other experiences that individuals and teams have designed using the framework. 

But I also believe it’s easier to renovate one room at a time than six all at once and that we’ll achieve greater feelings-led XD (Experiential Design) adoption by channeling our efforts in a single direction for now: a feelings-led design blitzkrieg. That’s why we’re bringing all our proverbial weight to bear on brand and event XD for enterprises in the mixed-use development, restaurant and bar, and boutique hospitality industries. The Feelings-led 4D Framework™, our juggernaut of an experience design system, extends far beyond logo, decor, entertainment, or even WOW factor, and it all begins with one simple question: 

How do you want your brand or event experience to feel?  Stumped?  Check out the four “D’s” below to dip your toe in the feelings-led water!

DISCOVER—Feelings-led: Feelings first, solutions second. We flip the paradigm and begin by discovering how you want to feel about your brand and/or event experience from beginning to end. Only then do we solve the analytical challenges inherent in designing any experience. 

Ex: Instead of allowing the budget to drive decisions, we determine how you want an experience to feel first, then make decisions within a given budget that align most closely to the creation of those feelings. 

DEFINE—360° XD: Experience design is as much about the experience while designing as it is about the final product.  Using your feelings-led input, we craft the Vivid Event Description™ to drive and align both your brand or event experience design and the planning experience that will get you there.

Ex: If you want planning your customers’ brand experience to feel buoyant and uplifting, make sure your team\’s brand experience feels the same way.  Don’t schedule 90-minute check-in meetings on Thursday afternoon at 3:30 pm. Don’t use bland, uninspired agendas to drive team calls and meetings. Create an uplifting and buoyant experience for yourselves so you can create one for your customers.

DISCARD—Holistic: It’s not enough to introduce new XD elements to your brand or event experiences if old ones run counter to the feeling you’re trying to create. G+A explores and helps your team uncover and discard unhelpful thinking about why you do (or don’t do) anything as part of your experience design. 

Ex: Does your cancellation policy convey a welcoming, friendly experience or a \”guilty-until-proven-innocent\” one? How can you revise it to better align with your feelings-led XD plan?

DESIGNWork Solutions: Stop solving problems. Start working solutions. With the feelings-led Vivid Event Description complete, we build your comprehensive Experience Design Plan (XDP). This includes your Impact-to-Investment Matrix™ (I2I Matrix) and Implementation Roadmap. Finally, we show you how to use the Feelings-led 4D Framework to tackle the inevitable obstacles that arise during your event planning lifecycle.

Ex: Pam in accounting just sure if you create a \’\”o questions asked\” cancellation policy will leave you broke next week?  Create a welcoming and friendly experience for her just like you would a guest at your front desk.  Walk her through how this will actually help your brand — go so far as to map out how one positive online review about a No Questions Asked cancellation could generate 2x or 3x the revenue of the original booking.  

The 4D Framework: Are you a Fit?

It’s not for everyone. Do you fit the feelings-led mold?

G+A’s Feelings-led 4D Framework doesn’t make sense for every organization or every team. If you answer Yes to all of the questions below, it might just work for you though!

  • I own or lead a team overseeing a mixed-use development, restaurant or bar, or boutique hospitality organization.
  • Our revenues and/or guest/customers have been in decline or stagnating (less than 2% net revenue increase) for at least three of the past five years.
  • In the past five years, I’ve made changes to my brand or event experience(s) but the bottom line hasn’t materially improved.
  • The agency model works in other areas of our organizations\’ operations (e.g. accounting services, architectural services).
  • I need a partner to provide a solution in 90 days or less, and I need a guarantee of demonstrable results within a year.
  • I am eager for my organization\’s experience to blaze a trail in our community and/or industry and to leave customers new and old clamoring for more.

If analytics-led thinking, i.e., here’s the problem, and here’s the data-driven, pragmatism-first solution, continues to yield unsatisfactory results—economically, empirically, and emotionally, it\’s time for a new experience.

The Feelings-led 4D Framework upends conventional wisdom because nothing changes if nothing changes.

Let G+A help you shift your paradigm.  Let us help you transform a million tiny touchpoints into one big dream.

Until next time, dream boldly, dream beautifully,
Mallory Gott, Founder + Creative Director, G+A | An Experiential Design Firm

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