Rule no. 1: Be unique!
I’ve just returned from the epicenter for people—and brands—driven to change the world, San Francisco & Bay Area. There’s a compelling reason why so many innovative companies originate from here. It’s often mistaken for just a geographical location, but in reality, it’s a state of mind. Our annual excursions are designed not just to visit the place but to immerse ourselves and our clients in this transformative mindset, to adapt it, and to embody it upon returning home.
This mindset cultivates groundbreaking ideas, fosters solutions to complex and significant challenges, and harbors a genuine desire to contribute to others’ success. We can engage with and learn from the brilliant minds behind iconic brands like Stanford and Berkeley Universities, NASA, SETI Institute, Institute for the Future, future-oriented VCs, AI startups and transformative brands and organizations. These leaders and innovators generously share their insights because they’re passionate about empowering others to thrive.
Gensler’s Visionary HQ in San Francisco: Transforming Workspaces for Innovation and Well-being
This November, I was perhaps most excited about visiting Gensler’s new HQ in downtown San Francisco. Gensler stands as the world’s most impactful architectural and design firm, with over 6,000 professionals across 53 offices globally. Their list of clients includes paradigm-shifting organizations like Amazon, Google, Meta, LinkedIn, and Airbnb, just to highlight a few. Gensler’s ascent to global prominence is no stroke of luck. Art Gensler, the visionary American architect and entrepreneur, founded the company in 1965 in San Francisco. He pioneered a new era in architectural design, prioritizing client collaboration, sustainability, and innovation. His influence extends far beyond the structures and spaces his firm has designed—reshaping the fabric of architectural and design practice.
In crafting their new San Francisco headquarters, Gensler leveraged their extensive research into optimal workplace environments that foster employee growth. Since our last pre-Covid visit, their commitment to workplace well-being has now evolved to embrace neurodiversity. This is manifested in their office design, where fixed workstations are rare; employees transition throughout the day through various zones designed for interaction, teamwork, focused study, and even play and laboratory activities—these zones—some buzzing with life, others intended for tranquillity or creative experimentation.
Gensler’s Global Triumph: Navigating Growth While Staying True to Brand Essence
Gensler’s brand strategy exemplifies how a business can scale globally and maintain its essence through decades of growth. By adapting and implementing their research when designing their own office, they showcase that they not only preach and teach but also walk their talk.
In summary, Gensler’s brand strategy stands as a beacon for how to stay rooted in one’s foundational values while boldly staying unique and continuously venturing into new horizons. Their global scale is achieved by being unequivocally unique, consistently excellent, and innovatively adaptable. For any business aspiring to grow, Gensler’s narrative proves that being true to your brand strategy is not just good practice—it’s the cornerstone of transformative success.
Upcoming webinar and its primary key takeaways
In my upcoming webinar, I’ll go deeper into the process of building a truly great brand, and the primary key takeaways from the session will be:
- The process behind crafting a brand strategy.
- How to identify the brand’s uniqueness.
- I will share tools for how to build a truly great brand.
- Why all organizations need to run two parallel and closely connected processes: sales and building of a unique and compelling brand.
I hope to see you!