The product aesthetics is an important element in marketing and product development. It refers to how the product looks and feels. Although the first impression of a product is its visual feel, other factors like color and sound are also equally essential as they can impact a user’s experience and opinion. It is now established that aesthetics in marketing is an important parameter and holds the key to establishing the brand by propagating sensory experiences associated with the product.
Leverage competitive intelligence to make your product stand out.
Table of contents
- What is Product Aesthetic Intelligence?
- Examples and Case Studies of Product Aesthetics Intelligence
- Benefits of a Unique Design and Product Aesthetics
- What are the ways to Improve the Product Aesthetics?
What is Product Aesthetic Intelligence?
Now, that we know that product aesthetics is about how its beauty appeals to the people, to understand and implement it, we require aesthetic product intelligence. So, what is aesthetic product intelligence?
Aesthetic intelligence is our ability to know, interpret, and eloquently express our feelings elicited by an object (here, it is the product) or experience. The use of aesthetic intelligence in product development can be very interesting and can go miles by augmenting the marketing process.
Aesthetic intelligence guides us in understanding the product and its content. By aesthetic intelligence, we can decipher how a product should be used, how it was developed, and its place of origin or where it is directed to, etc. Aesthetic intelligence has become an important field of study.
According to Rochelle Mucha, author of the book “Aesthetic Intelligence: Reclaim the Power of Your Senses,” to become aesthetically intelligent means engaging our senses—to see, hear, touch, smell, taste, and intuit—in all our interactions.
The purpose of having and executing aesthetic intelligence is to draw on all five senses and offer products that are a pleasure to purchase and consume, adding to the brand’s value. What is endearing is that aesthetic intelligence can be learned. However, it has to be developed and honed even by those who are naturally gifted with aesthetic advantage, or else it will atrophy.
Pauline Brown, author of the book “Aesthetic Intelligence: How to Boost It and Use It in Business and Beyond,” says that aesthetic intelligence is a crucial roadmap for business leaders, which can help them grow their businesses by infusing their own distinct and authentic style.
Pauline is a renowned face in the luxury goods sector and also the former Chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, North America. Her book is a groundbreaking offering in this field with so many takeaways for industry and business leaders.
Entrepreneurs, executives, business owners, and professionals should know how to harness the power of the senses while developing products. The products, created with aesthetic intelligence will stand out and resonate well with their consumers while also lending long-term value to their businesses.
Examples and Case Studies of Product Aesthetics Intelligence
Aesthetic intelligence helps in delighting and elevating consumers’ experience with the product or brand. Hence, elevating your aesthetic judgment and skills aids in winning over target clients. Aesthetic intelligence helps many top brands to win over their luxury customers.
To get more clarity on how aesthetic intelligence can help brand owners in selling a product to their target customers, we can explore some recent examples and other case studies conducted on this subject.
Aesthetic Product Intelligence in Cosmetic Industry
One of the best examples and great utilization of aesthetic intelligence is from the cosmetic industry. Giving out free samples in this sector is rampant and the motive behind is driven by principles of aesthetic intelligence.
Many cosmetic brands have grown after they’d allowed their customers to validate their claims by experiencing the product through touch, feel, and smell or seeing their effect on the skin, etc.
As a customer, think how real it feels to apply a cosmetic product, by looking at the texture, smelling it, and seeing the effects on the skin. By amazingly applying aesthetic intelligence principles, a company can influence the buying decision of a consumer, just by letting out a few free samples. The rest would be covered by word-of-mouth promulgation by users.
Some even say that giving out free samples also helps in creating a fond relationship with customers. It is regarded as an infallible technique to draw customers and introduce them to the product so that they can get to enjoy it aesthetically even before purchasing.
Another recent study mentioned that how a product looks is a crucial factor that sways over a customer’s purchase decision. The study found that it is the inherent aesthetics of the design composition related to the arrangement of visual design elements which can make the product attractive and visually appealing to the customer. The research outlines a series of elements required to make a product pleasing to the consumer and lure them to purchase it.
So, as a company or brand, if you want to beat the competition, think of innovative ways to capitalize on aesthetic intelligence. Virtual marketing can only utilize and excite the visual part of our senses. It can elicit the opinions of customers only by providing fantastic visual and sound effects. The touch, feel and smell factors are still missing. If you can add any extra and new element through aesthetic intelligence, your product will surely have an edge.
Aesthetic Product Intelligence in Airbnb
This can be one of the best recent examples of how businesses can grow with good aesthetic decision-making and utilizing aesthetic intelligence. What the two founders did was nothing innovative in the market.
They did not invent the idea of renting out homes and other spaces by people. They were not tech czars but graduates from the Rhode Island School of Design. They applied their aesthetic design skills to create their business.
They built a website that stimulates people’s imagination by tapping into their innate aesthetic intellgence. With their select images, font sizes, and effortless navigation, the Airbnb site gives a sense of delight to customers when they go through the booking process. Airbnb can be the top website for people who are looking for short-term lodging facilities all over the world. Users prefer to use their website time and again because of the pleasure they derive while booking their stays or lodging. This is aesthetic intelligence at work.
Aesthetic Product Intelligence in Gucci
When it comes to luxury shopping, Gucci is one of the first choices of many people, especially the millennials. The success mantra of the top Italian fashion brand is that they have the leading talents and top fashion designers working for them. Gucci creates products that can never go out of style. This is the application of aesthetic intelligence.
For example, Gucci bags are not different from other branded bags in the market like Balenciaga or Louis Vuitton. However, Gucci customers can feel an emotional connection and rejoice in the shopping experience with the brand. It is not about the bag but the experience, which is created by using aesthetic intelligence.
Aesthetic Product Intelligence in Disney
Not many know that the entertainment behemoth, Disney, has a lab or R&D center they call Imagineering. Disney employs a few thousand people who constantly work in this lab and whose primary task is to create new ways to delight customers.
A Disney experience stays with people for years to come because the company strives to create a user experience that never fades away. The uniquely designed experiences are all about excitement. Half of the thrill begins when a plan is made to visit Disneyland.
It is because the company has always emphasized design creation and unique experiences. Not only children, even adults remember a Disney sojourn for years. It is the delight that customers cherish and it is created by people who use aesthetic intelligence. So, as a company or brand, if you want to gain mileage, think of innovative ways to capitalize on aesthetic intelligence.
Virtual marketing can only utilize and excite the visual part of our senses. It can elicit the opinions of customers only by providing fantastic visual and sound effects. The touch, feel and smell factors are still missing. If you can add any extra and new element through aesthetic intelligence, your product will surely have an edge.
Benefits of a Unique Design and Product Aesthetics
- Prevention of brand confusion – A unique design created aesthetically steers your product out of the clutter. When created with utmost care and applying the principles of aesthetics, a product succeeds to portray the core message and what the brand stands for.
- Consistency and standardization – The aesthetics of a product helps the company or the brand to stick to a consistent path. It aligns the product with the brand message by lending a unique tone, shape, color, style, and personality, which can go in all the marketing and social channels. The target audience or consumers find it easier to identify the product. The core message remains intact in whatever platform the product gets displayed.
- The product stands out in the crowd – Another impact of aesthetics on a product is that it remains unique and your consumers can easily identify it amid so many brands out there.
What are the ways to Improve the Product Aesthetics?
Now comes the most important part. Having discussed what the aesthetics of a product is, what is the role of aesthetic intelligence? It is equally important to know how to enhance the aesthetics of a product. Enhancing a product’s aesthetics can be a capital-intensive exercise and at times calls for substantial investment. However, ROI is found across markets. Firms that spend on improving aesthetic designs register higher earnings than respective industry averages.
Few practical Tips to Consider in Improving Products Aesthetics
- Build a creative team – The aesthetics of products are enhanced during the creative process. So, as a brand or company, build a team that comprises quality artists, marketers, designers, or simply the people who create aesthetic products. Scout for creative employees with high intrinsic motivation and self-determination.
- Give support or facilitate creators or designers – Since people in creating aesthetic products are characterized by intrinsic motivation, the best way you can facilitate the creation of aesthetic products is by supporting the creators’ intrinsic motivation and self-control. By giving them freedom and encouragement, you will gain a final product that will mesmerize your customers.
Some other steps that help in improving product aesthetics
Many ways and methods contribute to improving the aesthetics of a product. And each one of them depends on invoking the human perception of conceiving a material thing, which can be visual, sound, smell, touch, or feel. A product’s aesthetic should be improved in ways that appeal to the end users, the consumers. So, an in-depth study of the target consumer psyche is the foundation of starting the process of improving a product’s aesthetics.
Machine Learning is an Important Tool to Augment Product Aesthetics
There are hundreds of examples where companies and brands have enhanced the aesthetics of their products and derived great success in marketing. These companies have utilized machine learning to get the desired result.
Years ago, Apple aimed at smartphones that come with touch screens, IKEA attempted to build aesthetically pleasing furniture, and Zenni Optical improved with prescription sports glasses, which are all examples of improvement of product aesthetics.
It is especially relevant in the automotive industry, where enhancing aesthetics regularly is core to their business principles. This industry is known to invest huge sums of money in designing and re-designing.
Studies have shown that on average, US$1.25 billion is spent on designs, whereas on critical designs it shoots up to US$5.7 billion by the automotive sector. The spending on designs and aesthetics directly boosts sales.
Speaking in general, we can observe that there are three aesthetic aspects that brands can use to improve their product’s overall appearance.
(i) Working on its stance: The first impression, whether it is of an individual or a product is how it stands on the ground, i.e. the stance. It can speak a lot about the product and its character. So, as an owner of a brand, you should identify the character your product must project and then work towards creating its stance. It should help in conveying the character you want your consumers to see.
(ii) Having one cohesive form of the product: For a product to be identified as an iconic one it is paramount to have a unified form to reduce visual complexity. It pays to consolidate the parts of a product and give it one distinct and unique form that becomes glaring even in a crowd. It is an essential part of the process of improving the aesthetics of a product. It helps in lending a refined look to the product, which the consumers identify with.
(iii) Playing with CMF: The application of color, material, and finish (CMF) with a creative touch is an effective way to add to the aesthetics of your product. When immaculately done, it will immensely lift the level of aesthetics of the product, alluring enough for your consumers to take a purchase decision.
With these aesthetic changes, your product will have a persuasive appeal and will become a better version of the current appearance.
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For consumers, aesthetics has always been one of the most important factors in choosing a product. The product that stands out in a chaotic and crowded marketplace has many takers. So, as a brand or product manufacturer, lay sufficient emphasis on working on the product aesthetics.
Value and aesthetics can complement each other to make a product wholesome and attractive to consumers. As the aesthetics of any product can be enhanced one should leave no stone unturned to get the best design, look and feel of the product. Remember that it will augment the marketing process.