#CODES & NARRATIVES

Europa Bendig
Managing Partner STURMundDRANG
01.11.2021 | reading time: 3 minutes

CHANGING CULTURES MAGAZINE > CODES & NARRATIVES > Secret of attractive people & brands

Attractive people, attractive brands: what's the secret?

This article first appeared in the July 07/21 issue of "absatzwirtschaft".

Everybody wants to be irresistibly attractive – businesses surely want their brands to be. But nowadays being attractive is no easy matter, for looking good is no longer enough: you have to follow a specific formula of proper proportion to exude health and fertility. Beauty has much to do with averages, as numerous studies have established. But average doesn’t cut it anymore. Beset by a general flood of media and information, we are surrounded by beauty products and services. At the same time, filter enhancement is now creating a sameness to images that undermines the interest that may otherwise be stimulated. In an effort to conserve energy, our overworked brains focus exclusively on the new. Anything familiar is dull, and simply gets 'waved through'.

 

WHAT IS ATTRACTIVENESS TODAY IN THE POST-BEAUTY ERA?

What does it now take to catch the eye?
As technology has developed over the past 20 years to demand increased visual activity, people have acquired significant new competencies, in the area of pattern recognition, for example. Our brains are becoming ever more adept at processing and recognizing countless images daily. In static images we found a shared language, which is now transforming on social media into a language of video. A study entitled How Video Will Take Over the World has shown how a single static image generates approximately 1,000 words in our mind, while one minute of video generates some 1.8 million words.
 

In today’s gif and meme culture of Snapchat and TikTok, things shift, move and change and the eye follows. Rather than representing perfection or an ideal, the key is to demonstrate dynamism and transformation. The public want to know: if I go with you, who or what will I become? People and brands that demonstrate change and successful transformation (of themselves or of others) are the new attention magnets to be emulated. Thus attractiveness is undergoing a paradigm shift, from BEING to BECOMING.

 

"Rather than representing perfection or an ideal, the key is to demonstrate dynamism and transformation. The public want to know:
if I go with you, who or what will I become?"

 

SO WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS – FOR PEOPLE AND BRANDS?

Our behavioral and cultural research has conclusively demonstrated that attractiveness does not proceed from showing the pretty face, the lifestyle, the fancy home or that irresistible drink. Rather, dynamism and potential for change are now at the heart of what we find attractive. People want to be there at that moment when people or brands evolve into something greater and grow into their 'next level'. They are intrigued by people and brands that show themselves to be capable of change and betterment.

We show clients how to outline transformative strategies around purpose, communication and interaction that tie in with personal growth, societal advancement AND business objectives. How they can move away purely product-oriented thinking to embrace and create dialogical service ecosystems that support customers’ personal growth. States of BEING after all are transitory, for everything is in flux. In our ever-changing world, attractiveness is bound up with what you are ready to BECOME.

 

This article first appeared in the July 07/21 issue of "absatzwirtschaft".

Read more about beauty in our TikTok Aesthetics and Deepfake Beauty as the "New Normal" article which explores the newly arising non-static aesthetic of beauty, skin and aging as a springboard for discussion of future beauty concepts of a more cyclical but also sustainable nature.

Image references: Image 1: "Header" // Image 2: "Social Media" // Image 3: "Woman"

 

 

Author: Europa Bendig

STURMundDRANG founder and General Manager Europa Bendig has been consulting on innovation processes for NGOs and international enterprises for 18 years, primarily in the luxury goods, health, services, beauty, living and social businesses. She specializes in cultural codes and narratives that give brands and portfolios cultural relevance and promote customer loyalty.