Longtime leader in the luxury goods sector and former Chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton North America reinvents the art and science of brand-building under the rubric of Aesthetic Intelligence. In a world in which people have cheap and easy access to most goods and services, yet crave richer and more meaningful experiences, aesthetics has become a key differentiator for most companies and a critical factor of their success and even their survival. In this groundbreaking book, Pauline Brown, a former leader of the world’s top luxury goods company and a pioneer in identifying the role of aesthetics in business, shows executives, entrepreneurs, and other professionals how to harness the power of the senses to create products, services, and experiences that stand out, resonate with their customers, and create long-term value for their businesses. The power is rooted in Aesthetic Intelligence—or “the other AI,” as Brown refers to it.
Aesthetic Intelligence can be learned. Indeed, people are born with far more capacity than they use, but even those that are naturally gifted must continue to refine their skills, lest their aesthetic advantage atrophy. Through a combination of storytelling and practical advice, the author shows how aesthetic intelligence creates business value and how executives, entrepreneurs and others can boost their own AI and successfully apply it to business. Brown offers research, strategies and practical exercises focused on four essential AI skills.
Aesthetic Intelligence provides a crucial roadmap to help business leaders build their businesses in their own authentic and distinctive way. Aesthetic Intelligence is about creating delight, lifting the human spirit, and rousing the imagination through sensorial experiences.
Brown, former chairman of the luxury behemoth LVMH, offers a thin meditation on sensorial pleasure and the business opportunities it provides. The book contains lessons from her Harvard Business School course "The Business of Aesthetics," which teaches how to use an understanding of aesthetics to win over customers. Tactics include "enhancing attunement," "translating emotional reactions," "articulating aesthetic ideals," and "curating inputs and ideals." In layperson's terms, this is about finding a personal style for one's product or service, while managing the sometimes conflicting interests of commerce and creativity. Brown talks at some length about how aesthetic intelligence ("the other AI") can inform business strategy, offering the negative example of Google Glass which failed, despite state-of-the-art-technology, because it made users feel awkward and the positive one of Target, which has managed to compete against Walmart by creating a "cheap-chic" message. She argues that, in an era of increasing automation and a correspondingly stronger yearning among consumers for emotional connection, businesspeople should tap into aesthetics, "the pleasure we... derive from perceiving an object of experience through our senses." This descriptor and the text itself is a lot of words to express the concept that people like pretty things, making for a book which is more filler than help.