Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Brands and Aesthetics

Whether one considers Apple’s iPod, iPad or iPhone or Ty Nant’s bottled water or the Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic or Giorgio Armani clothing or the Relais & Châteaux hotels, aesthetics plays an important role in the appeal of those brands. Even the appeal of less upscale brands is often driven at least in part by their aesthetics. Consider Dove soap or the Gillette Fusion ProGlide razor or Hershey’s Kisses or the earlier version of the Hyundai Sonata that looked like a Jaguar. We sometimes help brand places. Aesthetics-related criteria rate high on residents’ reasons for choosing a place to live. Attractive neighborhoods and scenic beauty rate next after good job opportunities, low crime, affordable housing and good medical care as the top reasons people choose a particular place to live. Consider college and university brands. While many factors, including offering the right major, ranking high in selectivity, offering a competitive financial aid package, etc. contribute to brand preference, most college admissions offices will admit that once a potential student has visited the campus, the likelihood that he or she will attend that school increases significantly (assuming the experience was a good one). An increasing number of college ranking sources also rank schools based on campus aesthetics. Elon University has become much more popular in the past decade, at least partially due to its campus aesthetics. One final item of interest on building beauty into brands. Beautiful brands almost always command a price premium, generally making them more profitable than other brands in their categories.  You might want to consider how to infuse your brand with increased aesthetic appeal.

(c) 2014 by Brad VanAuken. Excerpt from Brand Aid, second edition, to be published December 2014.

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