Now that spring has arrived and we look forward to summer travels, I expect many of us are thinking about the trips we have planned in the months ahead. Few activities connect people to their passions like travel—whether your interests are culinary or cultural, whether you would rather shop in Shanghai or surf in Sayulita, it’s when we are traveling that many of us find opportunities to pursue our passions.
This helped inspire the topic of our next AFAR Conversations, Engaging Passions: How Brands Connect with Consumers. It’s not just in travel that we see companies focusing on their role in helping consumers connect to their passions. Today, people are looking for a culinary experience, not a meal; a philosophy, and not a mere article of clothing. One study that attempted to quantify the changing landscape calculated that consumers today choose brands that engage their passions 42% more frequently than they do brands that simply sell them products.
On April 14, our panelists will gather to discuss what it means to engage consumers with their passions. I’m especially excited to hear what Marcus Samuelsson and Will Guidara have to say about the topic. As the man behind Eleven Madison and the NoMad, along with Chef Daniel Humm, Will has created restaurants that have become famous for providing the very best dining experiences in the New York today, flawlessly executed. And few chefs are more acclaimed than Marcus Samuelsson, who first caught the attention of critics and diners when he became the executive chef of Aquavit at just 24—he soon became the youngest chef ever to receive 3 stars from the New York Times. Samuelsson has since opened Red Rooster and Streetbird Rotisserie in Harlem, helms another three restaurants in Sweden, where he was raised, and is the author of the memoir Yes, Chef.
I hope you will join us next week for an evening of cocktails, hors d’ouevres, networking, and to add your perspective. To get the conversation started, we are asking everyone attending to answer one question:
What brands speak to your personal passions?
Please submit your thoughts in the comments below. We look forward to seeing you!