The Road Ahead.

Reflecting on our first year, and examining the state of Navigate heading into 2018.

2017 has taken us on quite the journey.

It’s been a remarkable twelve months here at Navigate HQ.

We quickly saw our team double, then triple in size, and our creative reach has spread from Toronto to cities all over the world, including a second office in New York and projects in places like Dubai and Barbados.

Along the way, we successfully launched new brands from the ground up and propelled existing ones to new heights. Restaurants, hotels and ice cream shops - not to mention some ambitious projects we’re incubating internally.

In fact, we’ve been so busy, we haven’t really had a chance to give ourselves a proper talking-up. That’s where our new Navigate Blog is going to come in handy. We’ve got a lot on our minds, and we’re excited to start a new dialogue here - not just so we can share our work, but so we can spark discussions about the intersection of great design and iconic branding. 

But first, let us start by formally (re)introducing ourselves... 

We should probably begin by answering an important question:

Why are we here? 

Because things have to happen fast. Digital and interior worlds are more interconnected than ever, and everything must be inherently adaptable. That’s what we specialize in: bridging the gap between built environment and brand experience - and responding to necessary change at a moment’s notice.

How does it happen? By deploying diversely skilled, highly agile teams that can solve problems without unnecessary layers of people or obstruction. That’s how Navigate does business.

We move at the speed of your brand, not the other way around.

Ultimately, we’re here to simplify success for our clients; to make sure every single one of your brand's touch points are moving in the same direction. How do people hear about you? What’s their first impression? Does it match the second? Does the experience live up to hype? And when it’s all over, are they done thinking about you, or are they left wanting more?

Brand x Design x Digital

When you come to our office, we can provide interior design, acquisition strategies, and SEO expertise in the same meeting, guided by leaders in each of those respective disciplines. Best part? They share a lunch room. They collaborate closely on every project, from the first briefing to the last lighting fixture. All under one roof. That’s how we navigate the extremely nuanced world of modern consumer experiences.

Leading the way 

Without the spectacular personalities that make up Navigate, we’d just be an empty office with lots of cute dogs. Which wouldn’t be the worst thing. But we’d trade nothing for the multi-talented roster of design, management, marketing and digital minds that make up our team.

Over the last year, we've created and filled a number of new roles that we know (from firsthand experience) are key to our clients’ success - including a new Engagement Manager, Community Manager, and Senior Food and Beverage Manager.

In particular, our highly specialized design department saw significant growth this year as we added a new Design Lead and dedicated experts in web, UX, interior, FF&E, front end, and graphic design. Together, they bring every single touchpoint to life. Everything looks and feels together as one.

Our people are everything, and you’ll be meeting more of them in future posts - and hopefully face-to-face.

Where we went in 2017 

This won’t be easy to quickly summarize - but we’ll give you the cliff notes. On top of several exciting Toronto-based projects, this past year found us navigating international waters as we built and rejuvenated some exciting brands on the global stage.

We partnered with the soft-serve connoisseurs at Sweet Jesus to bring their concept to the United Arab Emirates, coming to life as the newly branded Sweet Salvation in Dubai.

Meanwhile, in beautiful Barbados, we led branding and digital design for the inaugural Vujaday music festival. We also did some island hopping to Grand Cayman, where we helped Howard Hospitality Group refresh their image and create a new website.

Back at home, we were hired by the legendary Royal York Hotel to reimagine interior designs for the Benihana restaurant and famous Library Bar.

And shortly after we finished decorating our new Toronto home, we opened up Navigate’s second office on 7th Avenue in midtown Manhattan to serve our fast-growing NYC client base.

We also threw some killer parties. But those are for us to remember.

What lies ahead in 2018

It’s going to be busy.

We’ve already got a full plate of big projects set for completion in the new year — including brand, design, and operational strategy for Mira, a new Peruvian restaurant in downtown TO; designing new interiors for the Celino Hotel in South Beach; complete brand support for handcrafted area rug wholesaler 36 Knots; and the launch of Pick 6ix - an iconic new restaurant in collaboration with global star Drake and October’s Very Own.

Beyond our clients’ projects, we’re laser focused on nurturing and expanding the Navigate team and what we can offer. We’re incubating new concepts of our own, refining our digital capabilities, and always on the lookout for brilliant minds to add to our roster. Our NYC office is set for a massively successful growth year, and we’ve just barely scratched the surface of what’s possible beyond North America.

It’s a lot to cover in one blog post. That’s why we’re going to keep this conversation going all year long. We’ll let you know what we’re up to, what’s on our mind, and who you should meet. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

We hope you’ll join us for the ride. You can start by following us Instagram and Facebook or better yet - contact us directly INFO@NAVIGATEGROUP.COM and tell us where the Blog should head next.