The Dutch have a special word to describe “cosiness”, “comfort”, but it’s also something that goes a little beyond that. “Gezellig”. Pronounced correctly, it kinda sounds like you’re clearing your throat, but this blog explores its meaning by documenting experiences that make life richer and deeper; through food, family, and the making of a home.

A full brand experience

by amanda on April 20, 2017

A fully immersive brand experience: You know what I mean. Those companies whose experience, identity, and emotion are all wrapped up in a tidy package.

Have you been to a Tesla store? Tesla is a compelling story: founded by Elon Musk, who made his fortune from Paypal, and now creating fully electric vehicles (as well as space rockets; this guy doesn’t really sit around). Not just any vehicle; the first few are high-end, luxury automobiles that really stand out (the current models start at $99,00 US). And yet, the list for buyers is on backorder – they can’t make these cars fast enough. Why? If you go into a Tesla store, there are a few cars in the showroom for you to sit in. The car has a what’s effectively a giant iPad instead of a dashboard for all of your controls. It’s not a super flashy car but the geeky details are all there: where the batteries go, how the non-combustible engine was designed from the ground up. I could go on about all its features but I’m not really into cars 🙂 What I can tell you is the experience of the brand in the stores; young, knowledge salespeople who are more than excited to talk about Tesla. The logo is techy and futuristic. For those of us whom the actual vehicle is quite out of reach, they sell jackets, bags, hats and t-shirts so you can still feel part of the “tribe” without actually shelling out the cash. For those who can afford it, the waiting list is just a build up of the anticipation, knowing you are part of a selected few. Tesla isn’t just a car; it’s a story, with a charismatic leader, an excellent product, and an elite vibe for the nerdy set.


Tesla Model X

Another fully immersive brand experience awaits at Anthropologie, an American clothing retailer that currently operates over 200 stores worldwide featuring a curated assortment of clothing, jewelry, intimates, home furniture and décor, beauty and gifts (as defined in Wikipedia) Really though, for people like me, it’s a store that has all of the clothes, housewares, linens, and accessories that I could possibly lust after. Seriously: Every. Single. Thing.

Anthropologie’s logo is soft, minimal, and airy. The website is updated frequently with the latest collections, and changes with the trend of the season. The stores have an upscale weathered look with enviable floors and settees, and are typically constructed out of old churches, or automobile shops.  The style is fairly bohemian and eclectic, and so it certainly doesn’t suit every taste, but for those of us for whom it hits home, it nails it completely, right down to the pretty soft paper they wrap your purchase in [sigh].

Can you see where I am going with this? There are many, many more examples like these (Starbucks, West Elm, Jeep, Under Armour, Lulu Lemon) whose brand and identity don’t necessarily resonate with everyone, but for those who it does, they will defend and patronize the brand as if it were a relative. The whole purchasing experience, from social media to storefronts, from advertising to packaging is one big cohesive package that all tells the same story.

What about your company’s brand? What story are you telling? And is it the same story at every touchpoint, from when your staff answer the phone to when the customer walks out your door? If not, where is the disconnect? The best thing you can do for your company, starting today, is to walk through each touchpoint a customer would experience and find out where they get frustrated or confused, and hence possibly walk away. Fix those broken links and begin to see big changes in your bottom line. And overall, keep looking at the general experience they are getting to see if you, as a customer, might be overall impressed or disappointed with your relationship to the business.

Tips that might help:

Peek User Testing: A great FREE site that has random users use your site for 5 minutes and see what their first impressions are. Good or bad, you will definitely learn something!

Great article on Touchpoints and the user experience on Harvard Business Review

Sticky Branding a book that really delves into what your brand should look like to stand out amongst the crowd and tell your story

Don’t think of your logo as just a cute graphic on a piece of paper. Think of it as the beginning of someone’s journey.

Happy Reading!



3 day room makeover


Just a quick post to show you a fun project I helped out with back in January. A friend of mine, Becky Ong, decided to surprise another friend, Kim Parker, by do a super quick reno of her basement while she was away. The basement held very little charm; it’s sole decorative accents being a […]

Carry on, then →

Living Room revisited


The thing about our living room, is, it “looks” comfortable, but the reality is so, so different. I mean, the colours and textures are all there, but our actual seating leaves A LOT to be desired. This picture below has our old seating, which is now ripped to shreds by various kids and has been […]

Carry on, then →

2016: a lookback

Thumbnail image for 2016: a lookback

Hmmm , I never do this. I’m more of a “don’t think about the past; what matters is the future” kind of gal. But maybe it’s a good time to reflect on what happened in the past year to see if I can’t tease out something, I don’t know, profound?! The year started with an […]

Carry on, then →

Pattern me pretty


So, I’m a HUGE sucker for surface pattern design. And I’m coming across more and more absolutely stunning ones lately so I thought it high time to share some with you. Some of these, I realize, might induce headaches in some people but to me, you can always, always have more colour. Always. Let’s start […]

Carry on, then →

Boston, Hahvahd, and Lobstah


….Just got back from an epic time visiting my dear little brother, who has been living in Boston for about a year. Yes, we brought the kids. Yes, we drove. Yes it was long and there was bickering but it was also a really nice opportunity to just be a family. So I savoured it, […]

Carry on, then →

Restaurant Interior Design: Follow-up


…so being the wife of a farmer often means that months blow by and, even though you may have the best intentions, your blog suffers greatly 🙁 One thing I’ve been DYING to show you is the final result of the local restaurant, Glassroots, whose identity I created and then went on to help them […]

Carry on, then →

My so-called online life

Thumbnail image for My so-called online life

You’re probably getting the sense that this blog isn’t exactly being updated on the regular. And you’d be right about that. Instead, for the past few months, I’ve been directing my energy towards Instagram, and have been enjoying it thoroughly. It’s amazing the number of relationships I’ve developed with fellow creatives and local businesses this way! […]

Carry on, then →

How to Guide: Vintage shopping


I’ve been getting this question a lot recently: where do you get your vintage finds, anyway? The question certainly gave me pause. After checking out a similar blog post about Summer Antiquing by Invaluable, I wanted to give a go at answering it on my blog. I will stop at any cute looking vintage/antique shop during […]

Carry on, then →

Bar Stool Design Challenge from Chairish


You may recall last year my participation in a design challenge via Chairish,  an online consignment marketplace for exceptional pre-owned furniture and home décor: This year they’ve asked me to do the same, only this time using vintage bar stools within my very own virtual woman cave! Remember, the only thing I love more about home interior design […]

Carry on, then →