There’s a backlash I’m noticing that’s taking place with “all things digital.” People have developed an allergy to AI, sensing that “made by bot” is falling short of real connection through our many—far more than five—senses.
The messages we ingest become glaringly clear through micro-gestures in salespeople, the feel of a product, the experiences of an event, the gut sense you get during a meeting or presentation.
It seems we’ve taken digital to such an extreme; humans are building an allergy to bigger, faster, more powerful hyper-digital communication. Our gut reactions can make us feel either comforted or repelled. Much of these many-sense inputs happen subconsciously—how much of our decisions are made. This study Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman suggests that we make 95% of our purchase decisions unconsciously.
About a year ago, I gave a TEDx talk about The Beautiful Business, which highlighted the three pillars of this evolved version of business: belonging, harmony, and magnetism. Each of the pillars are core human attributes that can’t be curated through big data that drives much of our digital-driven design alone. And, each are distinguishing characteristics of what your customers and employees crave.
The modern-day brand (aka evolved brand) has moved beyond the ad-centric times of push marketing into a beautifully designed experience that transcend the ordinary. Companies in the rut of doing things faster, bigger and more powerfully are at a disadvantage to brands who are doing things differently and uniquely.
Call it a beautiful business, aesthetic coherence or an evolved brand. It is the ability to curate a branded experience through the use of all human senses to realize, stimulate, create, and recreate delight.
Much of what humans crave are experiences of awe and delight. Your customers have no immunity to awe, or beauty, or what Abraham Maslow called peak experiences that transcend a linear serving of the five senses. Neither awe or delight can’t be created by big data or digital experiences alone.
Before Starbucks, a cup of coffee was just a cup of coffee.
Before AirBnB, renting a vacation house felt more like a real estate transaction.
Before Apple, computers, and phones were just utility devices for productivity or phone calls.
Think about the brands that you’re most loyal to—the ones you love and tell your friends about. I’d bet good money they make you feel good when you interact with them, and you even come alive when you buy from them. Sure, they likely have great utility and certainly you see them as valuable.
Pause to ask yourself why you love these brands?
- Ask yourself, what do your customers love about your branded experiences?
- How is your company intentionally baking-in the opportunity for awe?
Your customers don’t want to be sold to or even persuaded to buy from you. They want to feel your product. They want to dream. They want experiences with your brand and products that transcend the ordinary. They want to be delighted.