What's a mobile moment? Hint: It's good for business.

Business is changing drastically because increasingly people are thinking and feeling with their cellphones. 

Don’t believe us? Harvard Business School recently conducted a study of 1,600 professionals, asking them about their smartphone use. Seventy per cent admitted to checking their smartphones within an hour of waking up. Nearly half would experience anxiety if they lost their phone. 


What Apple Pay and iBeacon Mean for Marketers


What Apple Pay and iBeacon Mean for Marketers

Alongside the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch launch on the morning of September 9th, Apple also devoted significant time to unveiling ApplePay, a technology that replaces wallets and credit cards with phones. The main marketing tactic of Apple is to promote the convenience of the function: ApplePay makes payments with a single touch. 


Furniture Bank Charity Increases Brand Awareness With Their Trucks


Furniture Bank Charity Increases Brand Awareness With Their Trucks

When a truck is on the road, one vehicle wrap could generate between 30,000-70,000 impressions daily*. Our client Furniture Bank has a fleet of seven trucks, yet the existing run-of-the-mill white trucks didn’t adequately convey the brand message. With a potential of such a high reach, it’s the brand awareness ‘vehicle’ Furniture Bank needed to leverage. The trucks are their biggest moving communication platform.


There’s Vibrancy in White


There’s Vibrancy in White

For a number of years our design team would create a special design project to celebrate Christmas. One particular project that resonates with me deeply was our creating a primarily white notebook – Reminsce*

To many, the Christmas season is celebratory. Not so to people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, for they gradually lose the ability to remember and engage with their surroundings. We had a notion that memory of people with dementia is like a sheet of white paper because of the seemingly blandness in their expression and disengagement.

GenesisXD decided to partner with Alzheimer Society of Toronto for better understanding of the condition and to demystify some misunderstanding through the notebook design.

Memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us.
— Oscar Wilde

We learned that memory is like a pile of paper. The more paper means more memory. People with Alzheimer’s are likened having the top sheets (the index pages) of their piled up paper removed. The memory is still there, only they lost the ability to access it. They will respond to certain stimulation that may elicit deeply treasured experience.

After gaining some insight on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, GenesisXD decided to design a white notebook filled with obscure vibrant colours. The vibrant colours, representing a patient’s lived experiences, are revealed from below the surface. How can we achieve this effect in design?

We use florescent inks to print on white translucent paper our hand drawn colourful shapes that depict dynamism. Patterns of such are obscured inside the wraparound French folded text pages. Using a minimalistic design approach, we blind embossed the title Reminsce on the white cover, and fasten the pages with two simple gold eyelets, for a clean and classy book design.

In this joyous season, we remember peace on earth, including those with Alzheimer’s or different types of dementia, and their loving caretakers. 

Happy Holidays!

P.S. We offer 10 copies of this vibrant white notebook to the first 10 people who show interest. Click here and let us know your address so that we send one to you. 

Reminisce Book next to a hand

*This notebook is also part of a campaign that included 24 Christmas Stories and other social shares of GenesisXD.  Click below for our stories.


Authenticity of trust in a brand – Reflection on the VW case


Authenticity of trust in a brand – Reflection on the VW case

“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” – Abraham Lincoln

Since early fall 2015 the world has been watching the reputation of Volkswagen unravel before them. It began with the revelation that Volkswagen had intentionally created a defeat device to rig their diesel automobiles to falsify their greenhouse emissions. This device programmed auto emissions to meet diesel emission standards. This deception was finally outed when the International Council on Clean Transport decided to test a number of popular diesel-fuelled vehicles that performed well in their government-mandated tests. The results came in: VW automobiles were omitting up to 40% more greenhouse gases than reported. VW has now admitted that they cheated on emissions testing with almost 11 million vehicles outfitted with these defeat devices.

How would you feel if you were driving a Volkswagen?

What happened? What were they thinking? How could someone think they could get away with deception on such a global scale? 

Can you still trust them?

Those are the questions, people ask themselves everyday when they hear of yet another scandal involving corporations. Defeat devices, Sony hacking, Ikea horsemeat, collapsing factories in Bangladesh—it goes on and on. After years of corporate corruption, trust in business is starting to hit all-time lows.

When trust is shattered, what does it mean to the brand character since character speaks volumes of the brand?

The Edelman Trust Barometer recorded that 80% of people worldwide do not trust businesses. 80%! But trust still matters. Statistics that display the trustworthiness of a particular business will motivate people to buy from and recommend that business. So, for many companies, the “bottom line” is the only motivating factor to pursue trust in the brand. The average consumer is aware of this fact so the 80% mistrust is understandable. If trust is simply a “marketing ploy” then it defeats the purpose!

When there's mistrust the brand image is marred. What if the “bottom line” wasn’t the only reason to do business? What if, in addition to assuming a big pie in the marketshare, a business’s core purpose was to provide solutions, create employment, and make the world a little better?

It takes an authentic character to conduct business ethically. Character is the foundation of trust. To build any relationship, especially in business, there has to be trust. But where does trust come from? It comes from morals and ethics—the very core of character.

Character is the foundation stone that all activities are built upon. Good foundation—good business practices, bad foundation—bad practices. This is quite elementary. Character trickles down from the boardroom, into marketing activities, the products you sell, the platforms you promote your products on, and how you treat your employees. At issue is the corporate conscience—how ethical you are as a team member, as an executive, as the chief-in-command. Every person in the organization is a walking brand. A well-established brand character is instrumental in strengthening trust in the brand. Trust, therefore, has to be earned over and over in order to maintain the brand's authenticity.

In the VW's case, they have super intelligence to design cheat software and were successful in keeping it concealed for years. But deception doesn't last forever. One wonders, what else are they hiding?

Reputation is built upon and can easily crumble with just one scandal. The foundation of a character-centred business, therefore, must be consistent in these three practices:

1.  Deliver on your word – Be vigilant and live out your brand promise.

2. Build a moral reputation – Be honest, transparent and ethical within and outside the walls of your business. It must be reinforced daily.

3. Enforce transparency in communication – Be genuine and consistent in establishing effective communication. It is a cornerstone of any business. With genuine communication, trust in the brand will last and be valued.

Trustworthiness is what customers are really looking for. Trust was what people used to have in Volkswagen. How can they restore trust when there seems to be a lack of principle in being ethical? 

A lesson from the VW case: What truly is of most importance in the long run – cheat to outsmart the system or be principled to earn trust and loyalty? 

GenesisXD, is an award-winning Expereince Design firm. We consult clients on communicating their stories through innovative design, branding and marketing communications


Clickbait Backlash


Clickbait Backlash

11 Pieces of Evidence that America is Back on Track - Upworthy 

You'll Take What Beyonce Has to Offer and You'll Say. "THANK UP." - Jeezbel

Smartphones Lovers More Likely to Forget Things, Walk Into People - Huffington Post

Do these headlines sound familiar? Do you click through?
How many times a day?
How many times have you been disappointed?

In the beginning of this practice of digital Web grabbing headings aka Clickbait, it worked. People clicked through to read and share the well of information the Internet provided and that is what these sites want you to do – they want traffic and traffic means revenue. Every site wants a piece of the click-n-share pie, which is why these teaser headlines have grown wildly popular. But with every site this practice, audiences will grow tired of this...we grow tired of everything.

Don't get me wrong, using attention-grabbing headlines is something I am not against; I work in marketing, I practice copywriting everyday. It is when the practice is so commonplace that audiences begin to ignore these headlines is when the problem ensues. Look at your Twitter and Facebook newsfeed – headline after headline, your mind spins and you want to rad them all but many articles fail to the hype of the headline.

Design by  Philip Yan  of  GenesisXD .

Design by Philip Yan of GenesisXD.

It is this discrepancy between headline and actual content that is creating the dissatisfaction, distrust and backlash. There are rumblings of this backlash beginning – The Onion has created ClickHole, a satire website making fun of digital teaser headlines. And Facebook announced in late 2014 a crackdown of Clickbait. Whether it will be effective remains is a question. Alison Gianotto, creator of the blog Snipe and technology manager at creative agency Noise, whose job is to monitor Facebook, says:

"I feel like we have to see a turning point. It's like an arms race. One country arms itself and the other arms itself a little better. As every article headline becomes this bombastic thing, we will grow blind to them."

It seems we are turning a blind eye to Clickbait.

Points Taken: The actual articles must be as intriguing as the headline teasers you are luring with. 

We invite you to learn more about GenesisXD.

GenesisXD, is an award-winning Expereince Design firm. We consult clients on communicating their stories through innovative design, branding and marketing communications. 




What Kanye, Hashtags, #TO2015 Can Teach Us About Marketing

Social media in some ways has become synonymous with live sporting events. People want to be part of the action, rejoice in the triumphs, agonized in the defeats. People are created to connect to one another and sports is a gateway to that connection…living moments of sheer triumph greater than one’s self. The sun has set on the 2015 Pan Am Games but the conversation continues - was this a successful social media sporting event? I would say no.

Hashtag Dilemmas:

#TO2015, #Panamazing, #PanAmGames, #PANAMNIA, #PanAm2015 – which do I chose?

When you go on the official 2015 Pan Am Games website the official hashtag is #TO2015, however looking at their official social media platforms there were several hashtags used throughout the games. So which do you use? It is always best to have one official hashtag, prompt and use that one hashtag the most. If there are several hashtags than there will be many missed engagements and missed engagement metrics to analyze.


The second dilemma to #TO2015 is that it doesn’t say anything about the games or a tagline to rally behind. During the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) created the tagline hashtag #WeAreWinter for Canadians to encourage our athletes. Canadians took to it with 543,000 mentions in Canada and 1.05 million mentions worldwide. On the final day of the Olympics it was “trending” on Twitter. Canadians hike, camp, ski, skate, even cottage in the winter. We are winter.

The Pan Am Games didn’t need a tagline hashtag to communicate their message. Many sporting events use the name or event i.e. #Wimbledon, #nba, #TheFinals, #StanleyCup. These simple hashtags quickly convey the message. What does #TO2015 convey? Anything in Toronto in 2015 – summer vacations, construction, the housing market.  People can use #TO2015 and not be talking about the Pan Am Games. When collected in metric analyses the numbers will be inflated due to an unclear plan.

Kanye West 18 by  rodrigofrerrari  is licensed under  CC BY 2.0

Kanye West 18 by rodrigofrerrari is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Kanye West Games?

The “Louis Vuitton Don” came to the games. When the announcement on July 15th, within ForFiveSeconds Kanye was running the storyline of the Pan Am Games, not the athletes. There were 12.7k tweets about Kanye followed by 4.1k tweets about Andre Degrassi Canada’s gold medal sprinter. It was cleared by the anti-Kanye online petitions to the thousands of anti-Kanye tweets, - Yeezy hijacked Pan Am 2015.

In marketing allow no one to hijack your message and define your brand. Whether it’s fair or not by not maintaining control over the social media circus of Yeezy, the Pan Am message wasn’t communicated for the rest of the event.

  1. Should the announcement been way before the games started? Yes.
  2. Should there have been a PR plan for the backlash for a controversial star like Kanye? Yes.
  3. Should there have been a response on all the official Pan Am social media platforms defending their decision? Yes.

Sport stars and only sports stars should be the talk of an international sporting event. 

By having someone else other than the athletes being the talking point robs the athletes of the social buzz of their achievements. More buzz, more fans, more ticket sales, more attractive to sponsors.

Points Taken: Hashtags are an effective way to create brand awareness when they are unique to the brand and do not get confused by other hashtags.

By maintaining control of your brand’s message from outside influences, you deliver the correct message to your audience and can achieve your marketing goals.

To read about the branding of the 2015 Pan Am Games click here .


To identify and tell the stories of your brand, contact our Chief Experience Designer at or call 416-595-9823. 

GenesisXD, is an award-winning Expereince Design firm, who show clients how to communicate their story through innovative design, branding and communications.