World-building and empathic storytelling with Eelko Lommers

Storytelling Eelko Lommers

What are the links between daily work for a multinational company, empathic storytelling and playing in a band?

My guest today is Eelko Lommers, Global Director Product Experience Design at IKEA, creator, designer, writer of a (not yet published) novel and a musician in a post-hardcore band.

We talk about empathy with clients, personality in a brand context and global operations that need adaptations in different markets. And that a lot of a country’s culture is directly related to its original music. We discuss the endless loop of listening, tuning, playing and performing, how stories change while we tell them to the world, and how the audience plays an active role.

Eelko shares with us the strategy of promoting his band with a limited budget and how this relates to a global design strategy because every data has a context of delivery for the right moment and audience under the right circumstances.

And he conveys with us some details about the novel he just finished writing, a fantasy story about magical places in Germany and mythological creatures that live in a parallel world. As an extension of the book, he plans a whole ecosystem of multichannel media like locative art, TikTok videos and a 3D omni verse. Every chapter has an emotion, including colour and a song that connects with the essence of the chapter.  

He explains this world-building and how he uses generative AI to build his characters to brief and guide an illustrator to make the final design.  

So technology, content, storytelling and design are not separate activities but an integral part of the total product experience and customer satisfaction. True satisfaction and customer delight happen when all of it comes together to create experiences that solve people’s needs in a way worthy of praise, remembrance and advocacy.

Listen to World-building and empathic storytelling with Eelko Lommers

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