Aesthetic businesses sell goods and services that elicit pleasure in their customers and desirability among those who aspire to buy them.
What are examples of aesthetic businesses? For starters, they are companies that make and market beautifully designed products, like haute couture and fine jewelry. However, their appeal extends well beyond their visual elegance and taps into other human senses. For example:
- Champagne, which delights the gustatory senses;
- Perfume, which appeals to the olfactory senses;
- Sound systems, designed for auditory pleasure; and
- Cashmere sweaters, relished for tactile comfort.
Moreover, the value of aesthetics is hardly confined to luxury goods. Examples of highly aesthetic companies in non-luxury sectors include: Apple, Nike, Disney, Whole Foods, Starbucks, Chobani, Airbnb and even Federal Express.
The Business and Marketing of Aesthetics is a new elective course for second-year students who are considering careers in sectors and companies whose financial value is based, in part, on their ability to deliver aesthetic value. The course will enhance students’ ability to experience and appraise businesses through their senses – a critical and oftentimes under-developed skillset for corporate executives, entrepreneurs and investors alike.
Executive in Residence
Throughout her career Pauline Brown has helped to acquire, build and lead global luxury brands.She is the author of the forthcoming business book, “Aesthetic Intelligence: How to Boost It and Use It in Business and Beyond,” which will be released this November by HarperCollins. The book is based on a graduate school course that Pauline designed and taught...
Robert D. Calkins Professor of International Business
Professor Schmitt is Robert D. Calkins Professor of International Business at Columbia Business School. He researches, teaches, and advises corporations on branding, innovation, creative strategy, and customer experience.
Schmitt is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Consumer Research and co-founder of TPM (Theory and Practice in Marketing). He has authored and co-authored more than 70 academic articles in marketing and psychology...