First impressions and the connected experience

Jack Blog

April 24th, 2018 By Steve Mooney

My takeaways from a 3 hour class @ BC

I stand in front of the class, place an apple, some hand-written notes, and my Adidas shoulder pack on the table.

“Given that you are all working on your personal brands this semester, this exercise will be easy — look at me, and give me your first impressions. What’s my brand?”

This is the BC’s Carroll School of Management’s class for integrated marketing. We are Jack Morton, visiting lecturers professing brand experience.

“Casual. Athletic. Relaxed,” comes back from an evening class of twenty-five.

I laugh when one student adds, “Old-school. Handwritten notes.”

We move quickly to a conversation about brands and the importance of making a lasting first impression.

“When do you think hotels live and die, in terms of the impressions that drive loyalty? What single touch-point determines if you will return?” I ask.

“Front desk?” one student offers.

As it turns out, while working with Holiday Inn we learned that the moment-of-truth isn’t the front desk, but when you open the door to your room. The smell, the bathroom, the overall cleanliness of the room.

I love teaching. As an agency, we do, teach, in spirit, professing brand experience as the next era, the Connected Experience ubiquitous to GenNow.

The Connected Experience is a seamless human existence of constant but relevant distraction, just watch any college student navigate human interactions while juggling devices. Look no further than this class we’re teaching. They are here, interacting and talking, but also communicating with others, playing games, texting and otherwise keeping their lives moving forward.

Our class covers a lot of ground, including our principles of an Experience Brand — user first design that adds value, drive participation in ways that inspires sharing.

To bring these principles to life, we feature case work — Charmin’s Van-Go and Covergirl’s Rantin’ & Raven. As well as work we all admire — Fearless Girl, REI’s #OptOutside.


We finish with a short workshop, students brainstorming ways to move brands into experience.

“We loved Natty Light’s green pull tab promotion, and wish we’d come up with it.”

“I want SUBWAY as the healthy affordable choice that feeds three over what SweetGreen charges for a single salad.”

I leave them with my twenty year-old son’s suggestion.

“Domino’s should run-up and deliver while I’m walking to class.”

He just might be onto something, a partnership with UBER and the college track team, a seamless experience for the distracted lives we are all living.