The Power of Aesthetics
More to Aesthetics Than Meets the Eye:
Think of your favourite coffee shop or restaurant. What does it look like? Does it have a theme? How does it make you feel? No doubt you can fully picture these places. They probably make you feel welcome. This is how aesthetics work. People don’t just want a product or service, they want to feel good in an aesthetically appealing environment; they want to feel connected. Style can no longer be an afterthought because it’s become a critical source of product identity and economic value. People want interesting, enjoyable and meaningful sensory experiences.
Starbucks and the Economy of Aesthetics
Think about how Starbucks looks - welcoming, modern and cosy. Howard Schultz, Starbucks Chairman, says that there has to be sensory signals that link in with high standards. “The artwork, music, aromas and surfaces all have to send the subliminal message as the flavour of the coffee: everything here is best-of-class”.
Let’s continue to look at Starbucks for the moment. How often have you gone in and not been able to find a seat? This is because Starbucks has created a cosy space that makes people want to stay long after their first coffee.
Google is another great example of this as its beautiful and fun workspaces attract talented and creative employees. A welcoming aesthetic will boost your company’s reputation and public image, and create a sense of community.
“Aesthetic Intelligence & Empathy”
“People do not need more stuff, but they do need pleasure and aesthetics is a powerful way to deliver it”. This wonderful quote comes from Pauline Browne, a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School. She studies what companies like Starbucks have done with aesthetics and how it has improved their business. She believes that the key to mastering aesthetics is knowing how to engage with people’s senses.
More than Looks
Transparency is an important part of aesthetics. When your business is transparent, you build up a relationship based on trust for your brand and company. Your customers should feel like they’re part of a community that appreciates and understands them. Yes, this can be achieved through physical aesthetics, but also through the layout of your office, creative displays and personal interactions.
The Layout of the Office
Individual offices are useful for managers, meeting and personal phone calls, but for the most part, try to find ways to keep everyone together. This promotes communication and shows transparency.
Your company logo and website should represent your business’s goals in some way. Create a website that is clear and easy to understand, and don’t forget to explain who you are and what you do, and ensure that your logo gives customers a good sense of who you are.
People will look at a company’s reviews before choosing them. They form assumptions based on how well you respond to these comments, negative or not. It is highly important to remember to stay calm if you receive a negative review.
Take the opportunity to turn this into a positive by contacting the customer and sorting through the issue. Not only will this convey your business as helpful, but you might also improve your business by looking at complaints.
The key to mastering aesthetics is to customise, design, plan and be patient while your business grows naturally into its aesthetic. Remember to make your customers want to be a part of your community. Ludwig Wittgenstein once said, “Ethics and aesthetics are one” meaning that you should put time and effort into your company’s aesthetic.