Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The Value of Aesthetics

One of the trends we're seeing is the move from believing that creativity exists solely or mostly in the idea, rather than the craft. In recent times, we've been rather seduced by the idea of the Big Idea. We have come to believe that the creative spark comes in the form of 'innovation', rather than 'aesthetics'.

There is a lovely talk here from Paul Feldwick which points to the counter view, and encourages us to rebalance and rethink where creativity lies.

I think this point about 'aesthetic value' is key in developing a 21st Century Brand. And is becoming an increasingly important component of the overall value exchange.

Brands that really work in the new spaces, in useable ways, and delight and entertain us, temd to be those with a heavily thought out 'design' narrative. Whether a technology-driven product like an Apple iPhone, or a human-centric service like First Direct 24 hour banking, there's an aesthetic quality 'designed in' to the brand, the service, the product...the experience. This is 'creativity-inside' and it is about beauty, attractiveness and, above all, sheer magnetism. As Paul quotes Bernbach...'the difference is Artisty' - we may these days call it design (sound design, visualisation, or even 'touch'...) but however we choose to tell the story of a brand it's the aesthetic that tells that story most creatively, and therefore should be designed-in to the very heart of the brand, not just its communications. In fact, it is the communication.

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