When you think of the word ‘aesthetic’ are you thinking about the way something looks? Or does it go deeper than mere visual appearances?

Traditionally we may have only considered this word to be used to articulate a physical description – but today’s consumers care about a lot more than what’s skin deep.

So what does aesthetics really mean to us and why is it so important to brands?

The word no longer stands for one thing alone. We recently discovered this while sat around the table with a diverse group of individuals from a large premium leather goods brand.  When handling a new material we had developed, the words ‘I love it!’ were used to describe how they felt about it. Hearing them talk about the aesthetics of a product being much more about experience and emotion over any physical or practical attributes was an eye opener – especially for a material supplier who is obsessed with how their material looks and feels!

This got us thinking… the aesthetic of our materials needs to evoke an emotion and offer not only a beautiful appearance and nice touch, but also provide a different kind of value to our customers – and ultimately the end consumer.

Identifying what consumers and brands class as ‘aesthetic values’ and ultimately making them say those three magic words ‘I love it!’ is therefore key.

There are practical values such as the way something looks, the way it feels, the way it smells and the way it performs – these are all physical attributes of a product, which to some extent, can be more easily controlled.

Where is gets more difficult is trying to create the less tangible values in a product such as the way it makes you feel.  The experience and emotional connections to a product often comes from the branding; the positive association with certain brands, their ethical or environmental values, the perception that one brand is more premium or desirable than another – these can all influence a consumers buying behaviour or a brands choice of specifying one material over another.

One word that keeps appearing is value or values. Connecting to people’s values through every touch point can create real meaning and a real experience for the customer or consumer. As we know, the Gen Z age range have very different values and ethics to consumers of years past, with a lot more focus on environmental ideals.

As this demographic becomes one of the main purchasers of luxury goods, brands are seeking new, responsible materials to create more sustainable products – thus fulfilling their consumer’s demand for premium products that make them feel good and don’t cost the earth.

So what’s the winning combination?

Offering something more than physical aesthetics and performance, together with aligning brand values to those of the customer, will help elevate a product and maybe even create some lasting love!

Want to find out more about sustainability materials technology? Take a look here – https://www.eleathergroup.com/technology/