Creating aesthetic value can be difficult — every individual has his own interpretation of beauty. Many companies develop a series of similar products to please a range of customer tastes, but most mass-market products can’t be tailored to individual preferences, so compromises must be made.
Since small businesses work closely with customers, aesthetic value provides small business owners with an opportunity — they can address individual aesthetic desires. This dynamic appears in markets as diverse as custom motorcycles, extravagant cakes and one-of-a-kind jewelry. Of course, aesthetic value can also be created by service providers: landscape design that blends outdoor sculpture with unusual plants or family photographs digitally manipulated to resemble oil paintings.
Aesthetic value can also have a disproportionate impact on the perceived value of a brand. When a company invests in a beautiful presentation, it can create increased feelings of value among customers and justify higher prices. Aesthetic value may seem abstract, but its effects are very real; beauty can be traded for money. Study after study has demonstrated the link between perceived value created by graphic, interior and product design and the financial success of small businesses.
People want to live in a beautiful world, and many are willing to pay top dollar for aesthetic appeal. Small business owners that examine the aesthetic component of their brands, products and services can differentiate their beautiful offerings from the rest of the pack.
Creating Aesthetic Value: Isabel’s Inspired Interiors
The clientele willing to pay steep prices for original artwork is a fairly small group. Yet introducing artists into the public consciousness is the key to their long-term success; famous artists can charge far more for a piece than those who are unknown. Isabel opened a gallery many years ago and had great relationships with a wide range of local artists. She knew that their success was directly tied to her success, and she longed to help them become more recognized. How could she promote her favorite artists to the majority of consumers when most are either unwilling or unable to purchase original artwork?
Isabel decided to open a subsidiary to her gallery: Isabel’s Inspired Interiors. She recruited a number of willing artists and put together a sample portfolios for each. She then approached local event planners who could take these portfolios to their clients and use them as inspiration for adding high-end interior design to their events.
Paintings were digitally photographed and beamed onto various fabric structures, forming complex sculptures of light that could be used as entrances, kiosks or temporary walls. The photos could also be printed on large sheets of paper or plastic using high-quality ink jet to form mosaics that could cover any surface, no matter how large. Information about each artist and each artwork were printed on small cards made available to all attendees. In this way, everyone who attended an event could become more familiar with the artist whose works were displayed. These installations could elevate a party far beyond traditional balloons, flower arrangements and lighting.
The aesthetics of the event were so profound that they could become a topic of conversation, engaging the minds of the attendees. The artist gained notoriety. Event planners could offer their clients something extremely unusual, setting their parties apart from the rest of the events on the social calendar. By taking the aesthetic value of the art and displaying it in new ways, a much broader audience was engaged, increasing the perceived value of the artwork itself.
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