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The Power of Active Listening: Crafting Transformational Experiences Rooted in Authenticity

Everyone wants to feel heard. To outpace the competition and unlock compelling results, you must learn to train your ear.

As GRADIENT’s Chief Client Officer, active listening is the bedrock of my approach to bringing our brands value. It allows you to effectively gather strategic, tactical information. Before you can curate an experience that feels authentic to a brand’s unique story, you need an intimate knowledge of its roots — its origin, substance, and consumers.

We brought significant value to Beam Suntory brand, 𝐁𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐥 𝐇𝐚𝐲𝐝𝐞𝐧, by melding with its essence & distinct characteristics and then translating those elements into a lived experience. We collaborated with Basil Hayden’s incredible brand and IAT team to achieve its goal of bringing drinkable sophistication to its bourbon. From in-depth floor plans and technical drawings to materials, greenery, serveware, food & drink strategies, and bartender scripts, every aspect of the experiential campaign was informed by the Basil Hayden ethos and the effectiveness of storyliving.

Our Human + Tech culture enables us to enhance, scale, and measure the impact of an experiential campaign. We curated an authentic experience that transcended traditional bourbon tropes. Here’s how we brought approachable sophistication to life:

  • Beginning with a beautiful walk-up diner window where guests can enjoy elevated cocktails and light conversation with the bartender before content capture sign-ups and “counter” access.

  • Including a premium experience (or the “counter”) featuring Michelin-inspired mixology and samples.

  • Leveraging brand ambassadors and mixologists to highlight the bourbon as the star of the show paired with the Michelin-inspired bite to encourage content capture and increased sharing.

  • Providing QR Codes and animated AR filters in strategic locations, allowing guests to explore via those interactive digital moments to increase awareness & sharing or drive to purchase.

Sincerely hearing your clients and remaining true to their roots is the key to creating something transformational. To appeal to a brand’s existing and potential consumers, you must do more than honor its heritage — you must double down on it.

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