Jon Goss, Chief Brand Officer at NeueHouse, knows what it takes to grow a lifestyle brand. Through engagement and executing unique experiences, NeueHouse is meeting the demands of a class of creative entrepreneurs. 'The Home of the New" is at the center of the company's ethos and brand. We talked with Jon about his day-to-day at NeueHouse, his key elements of a well-defined lifestyle brand and the convergence of co-working and hospitality.
Want more? Come hear Jon speak at the 2019 INDIE Congress in Downtown L.A. on October 17.
Tell us about your role at NeueHouse. What's the day-to-day like?
It’s completely fascinating and I feel very lucky. I wake up each day and have to think about the following areas the business: brand, marketing, content, press, programming, events and partnerships. So, whilst navigating all those different and varied departments, I get to work with some amazingly talented, smart and creative people and partners. Simultaneously, I'm part of the executive leadership team, working closely with our CEO, CFO and Global Head of Membership across all of the key pillars of the business (Membership, Design, Programming/Events, and Hospitality) and supporting the CEO as it relates to our Board, investors, fundraising, capital projects, expansion and overall commercial strategy. It’s never a dull moment – always challenging and rewarding.
Before NeueHouse, you were at Quintessentially, a luxury lifestyle and global engagement agency. What did you learn at Quintessentially about luxury lifestyle, programming and membership structures that you’ve brought over to NeueHouse?
Quintessentially and NeueHouse are somewhat similar in that the focus each day was developing an extremely high-touch, high-value membership experience through a combination of personalized service, hospitality, access, network, partners, content and data. All of this took place within a multi-pronged business model that was successfully expanded into many complementary areas including a marketing and experiential consultancy – acting for some of the world’s biggest brands who were looking to replicate that customer-experience.
I learnt a huge amount, travelled the world, met and collaborated with some incredible people, brand leaders, and got behind the scenes access to some of the world’s most esteemed luxury products, services, events and experiences.
A lot of that experience from a brand, marketing, customer experience, customer acquisition and partnerships perspective, is highly transferrable to what we’re trying to do at NeueHouse – and particularly in the premium end of the market. We are constantly improving our members’ daily experience, deepening member engagement, and developing personalized member services that are unrivalled in the workspace category. We are deeply focused on how to build a premium brand, with distinctive storytelling, world class content and events, in order to develop an audience and following to support B2C and B2B growth.
At the same time NeueHouse offers something so much more in terms of our iconic physical locations, and a community defined by their creativity and cultural currency, rather than simply by a propensity to spend and gain access. And that is such an incredible platform for me personally to be able to apply what I learnt at Quintessentially.
How do you identify the right partners to collaborate with at NeueHouse? What do those partnerships look like once executed?
We look for partners that share the same values as it relates to the arts and culture, commerce, creativity and ultimately, being new. Our audience are curious, in both their professional, entrepreneurial and personal lives to discover what’s new to support their own creative endeavors. NeueHouse stands for the ‘The Home of the New’, and so in fulfilment of our mission, we look to collaborate with partners also looking for and developing what’s new, what has cultural relevance, and what is going to shape culture and commerce.
“Luxury” has evolved, and is no longer simply about ownership, craftmanship, and material goods. It’s about experience, cultural and intellectual capital, and early adoption of the newest, value-additive, and most authentic products, services and experiences. We look to our partners to embody that ethos and leverage our alignment as partners to develop storytelling around shared cultural values.
We’ve been seeing this convergence of hospitality x co-working x social clubs growing a lot in recent years. What has aided in such demand? What are your members looking for?
Convergence is definitely the appropriate word. But for us, it’s less about the types of spaces, offerings or businesses you refer to, and more about the trends around the way we can now choose to live, work, socialize and connect and the blurring of those lines in the form of IRL experiences.
What initially attracted me to NeueHouse with Quintesentially (as both a customer and collaborator), and then ultimately as a team member, was that NeueHouse was at the vanguard of truly recognizing that convergence, and more importantly develop something magical that in many ways defined those changing trends.
That convergence has come as a result of the growing need to be physically connected to other like-minded people in a world of digitized, commoditized, content-heavy, noise and the on-going fight for our attention. That digital-landscape has made time away from a screen, a luxury.
At NeueHouse that need applies in real time to the creative industries and creative entrepreneurial class, who’s artistic output requires inspiration, new perspectives, new ideas and the need to satiate their curious minds. That creates a demand for premium work and social spaces, a great network, great live content and cultural experiences, and access to various amenities and resources.
So, with the premiumization of boutique hotels, social clubs and shared workspaces through architecture and design, the continued growth of the affluent entrepreneurial and freelance creative class, and that increasing lack of time, there is a growing demand for multi-use spaces that can cater to that discerning audience.
Our members want all of the above – We are an extension of their own home - and that’s why we are enhancing our existing homes and opening several more in iconic buildings. In many cities around the world people want what NeueHouse offers and where others can experience what NeueHouse can do for their work, creative, cultural, and social needs.
You’ll be speaking at ILC 2019 this October on Authentic Luxury & Business alongside Jim Shreve, CEO & President of Baccarat North America. To you, what are 3 key elements to a well-defined lifestyle brand?
- Emotional engagement: A product that always delivers some level of emotion they can connect with as part of the experience - we are not in the commodity game, so it is more than the core product itself that creates that emotional connection
- Storytelling: a brand that has a clear and differentiated story to tell, and one that is built around core set of values
- Advocacy: perceived or real value that authentically leads to advocacy and strong word of mouth [or adoption by the creative class] – an amazing experience or a product that creates a sense of deep sense of ownership lasts for a lifetime and creates deep customer loyalty.
What are some of your must-sees in Los Angeles?
- I’m seemingly biased, but also objective enough to say the Bradbury Building (our newest location) and Studio A at NeueHouse Hollywood – believe me when you see it
- The LACMA lights, the Broad and Jeffrey Deitch gallery
- any gig at The Hollywood Bowl
- Bronson Canyon just below the Hollywood sign
- Comedy at any comedy club (the Largo is my personal favorite)
- Dinner at Pace
- a football match (still British so I refuse to say ‘soccer’) at LAFC
If you could personally be sponsored by 3 brands, which ones would you choose?
- Common projects: I love the simplicity of design and quality of their shoes. Inconspicuous, affordable luxury at its best
- Rolex: absolute quality is timeless.
- Apple: exudes all the qualities I admire the most in terms of elegant aspirational design, innovation, and user-friendly technollgy. I love and admire all of their products.