Spark Cooperative brings new category of ‘Experience Design’ to leading travel and hospitality brands
MIAMI – Coinciding with its one-year anniversary, Spark Cooperative announced an array of recent successes within the hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors. Spark has brought a new category of ‘Experience Design’ to renowned national and global brands, leveraging diverse experiences and dynamic approaches to innovate, while generating rapid ROI.
“At Spark, we believe that memorable experiences don’t just happen. The most innovative, forward-thinking companies realize this as well and understand that to successfully engage with today’s consumer, it takes careful design, creativity and imagination,” said Charly McDonald, one of the company’s founders. “While our capabilities are varied, we ultimately think of ourselves as Experience Designers. We help new and existing brands create and reimagine their customer experiences, spaces and products.”
Founded by McDonald, Ronnie Farzad and Joshua Belz – who have more than 40 years of collective hospitality experience – Spark engages with clients to create tailored programs dependent on their distinct needs. The company evaluates everything from ambience and culture to food, drink, retail and service – walking through an ideal customer experience from start to finish. Spark partners with clients to identify key improvement areas, problem-solve and design tangible solutions built for sustainability, production and operation.
Within its first year in business, Spark has been selected by leading tourism and hospitality brands, including:
Royal Caribbean International – With the launch of the world’s largest cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas, Royal Caribbean continues to build on the global cruise line’s innovative reputation with a brand new, thrilling experience. The Ultimate Abyss is a pair of side-by-side 100 ft- high slides that guests can ride down multiple decks of the ship. Spark was commissioned by Royal Caribbean to help develop an end-to-end experience through the multiple sensory channels, including spontaneous audio effects, bespoke ride mats and custom uniforms and accessories. The attraction is designed to thrill guests while maintaining a sense of heart-pumping anticipation. As part of this engagement, Spark developed 3D renderings of the Ultimate Abyss, as well as the ride’s story, logo, visual identity, and signage package.
Starwood Vacation Ownership – Tapped for their innovative approach to the hospitality industry and experience entertaining thousands of travelers daily, Spark was tasked with helping Starwood Vacation Ownership develop property-wide, branded guest experiences for the first time. Spark led the brand’s Executive team through an Experience Design workshop that included the presentation of timely leisure travel trends, the collaborative creation of two Signature Experiences and accompanying operational plans for executing these programs, which are currently in the prototype phase.
Entertainment Cruises – Spark was hired by the nation’s largest dining and sightseeing cruise company, which was seeking a way to refresh its entire onboard experience. Beginning with a multi-city tour of Entertainment Cruises’ ships and offerings, Spark crafted a plan to reimagine the guest experience beginning with the music, ambience and service. Focusing on the range of time between when a guest steps onboard the vessel to the moment they disembark, Spark partnered with the brand’s leadership team to ensure innovation at every touch point. Spark’s process included evaluating everything from the way staff greets guests to how patrons maneuver throughout the boat. During the redesign, Spark crafted unique zones that offered guests a variety of different vibes and procured lighting and music systems to support the reimagined experience.
“When we set out to create Spark, we knew there was a need to imagine customer experiences holistically,” said McDonald. “We are thrilled that we have been so well-received already and firmly believe there is an appetite for Experience Design, which charges brands with prioritizing the customer experience above all else.”