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Emotion by Design

Creative Leadership Lessons from a Life at Nike

Author: Greg Hoffman

The best books I ever read are the ones that tell stories, as they always keep me focused and wanting to go further and learn more through the experiences shared. Emotion By Design: Creative Leadership Lessons from a Life at Nike (published in April 2022) is one of them.


Author Greg Hoffman is a great storyteller whose work inspired this book. Hoffman is a brand leader, advisor, speaker and former Nike Chief Marketing Officer. The content of the book is rich in the author's experiences, the lessons he has learned, and the principles he advises us to apply. There are no book references, as the entire volume is written from his personal view of each experience. The nine chapters and 304 pages provide stories and applicable lessons in creating stronger brands. At the end of each chapter, the author provides a condensed list of principles. The readers will be taken on a journey of creativity through insights drawn from Hoffman's Nike experience. We are advised on how to tell the most effective story to connect with consumers, and from the beginning, an essential element is discussed: empathy - getting outside ourselves and searching for what moves others. Insight, innovation, and creative collaboration are also detailed, and I especially enjoyed the stories behind why creativity is a team sport.

Emotion by Design is the ability to create stories, images, and experiences that make people feel that achieving their dreams is possible. The pages of Emotion by Design take the reader behind the scenes of the most iconic Nike campaigns and contain really interesting authentic stories that will make them reflect and want to just do more. Risk-taking is another topic discussed, as innovation breakthroughs are rarely created with caution. As the author states, a brand gains a competitive advantage through its ability to construct powerful emotional bonds with its customers, by cultivating a strong creative culture. Some of Hoffman's advice is to build daydreaming into a daily habit, to dare to be remembered and of course, to build through emotion by design, to create strong emotional links to the customers.

To "Be human. Design emotions. Leave your legacy." This book is designed to inspire the future generation of marketers, business leaders, creative teams and anyone involved in the creative departments or in brand building, but also all those who want to take a step forward and learn from the rich experiences Hoffman shares with us in this fascinating, insightful and interesting read.

Emotion by Design is a celebration of creativity and a call to arms for brand builders to rediscover the human element in forming consumer bonds. Greg Hoffman, a master in the art of storytelling, offers us this book as a legacy of his own journey of work experiences at Nike.

Reviewer: Monica Diana Olteanu

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