ECONOMICS

Aesthetic Intelligence: How To Boost It and Use It in Business and Beyond

Harper Business. Nov. 2019. 288p. notes. index. ISBN 9780062883308. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062883315. BUS
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Brown (former chair, North American division of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton) has written on an unusual topic: the role aesthetics plays in business. Aesthetics in this context means values and styles. For example, Steve Jobs of Apple regularly dressed in a black mock turtleneck and jeans, and the company’s iPhone is designed to be elegantly simple. Brown argues that developing an aesthetic awareness allows us to empathize more with the aesthetics of others, including potential customers. She believes aesthetics is important because people tend to make decisions (including consumer decisions) based on emotions. Brown asserts that while aesthetics is more obviously involved in consumer products and retail and restaurant services, it is by no means limited to them, offering numerous examples of how companies have used aesthetics well or badly. Brown believes aesthetics will play an even larger role in business in the future postconsumerist age, in which people will be looking for pleasing experiences rather than to acquire things.
VERDICT Will appeal to those interested in the intersection of marketing and consumer behavior.

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