The Fifty/Fifty Pact

 

 

 

We have it all: a flat screen, a smartphone, a job, a car and an (unused) gym membership. More than enough. And yet, we still want more. More success, more money, more clicks, more “likes”, more friends. The urge to own and display our possessions is apparently unquenchable and has escalated into the burgeoning superficiality that rules our society today.

Just stop to consider the absurdity of our pseudo-contacts with people on Facebook. People we don't even know, but with whom we are happy to share tweaked versions of our photoshopped lives. Currently amongst newly romantic couples in the US, the ultimate proof of trust is apparently no longer the exchanging of apartment keys: undying love is demonstrated by sharing one’s Facebook password. "Mi casa es su casa" has become "my Facebook is your Facebook". Today, we appear to define our lives by what we have (and display publicly). But is this really what we want?

Trend researchers say: no. The constant effort of having more and showing it all off is not only exhausting, it has also created a counter-movement: «The Age of Less». Fewer belongings, less superficiality, less fuss. Freeing up more time for emotions, more time for meaningful social contacts and more time for oneself. Leaving shallowness behind to find a real life.

That state – we seem to remember - was once characterized by love, mutual appreciation, freedom, adventure: by genuine, true emotions. And isn't that exactly what we have started yearning for again?

Although we don't like to admit it, in general, our common desires are not all that different. Brands can build on this trait by responding to those fundamental desires. Thus, a strong brand functions by evoking emotions that can be experienced now. The concept works when a brand succeeds in relating short anecdotes that trigger emotions encouraging the target public to let themselves be seduced; despite knowing full well that the world of experience conjured up is a make-believe one. An example of this is the mythical fragile world conceived by Kenzo in which flowers drift down from the skies. Despite having our eyes wide open, the brand world makes us want to believe that by owning a Kenzo perfume, we will become a part of this enchanted world. The emotive world of experience evoked by the Japanese fashion brand makes emotions come alive. And in this lies the secret of its success. Beautiful packaging or a striking logo alone cannot come close to transmitting the same multi-sensual and strong impression that a complete storyline does.

In such cases what we are doing is entering into a fifty/fifty pact with our common sense: we are allowing ourselves to believe that what we see is real enough to tempt us, while remaining fully aware that we are being drawn into an emotive dream world. The difference to a dream is that we decide when we want wake up.

Branding follows the real world. The age of ever more appears to be over. Now, only real, tangible emotions are able to stir us.

PUNKTMagazin

This article appeared in PUNKTMagazin. The Swiss magazine combines economics, investment and lifestyle and is published every two months. Branders CEO René Allemann writes a column for the publication. You'll find more information on PUNKTMagazin here: www.punktmagazin.ch

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René Allemann

René Allemann

Born in Zurich, René Allemann founded the consulting firm Branders in 2005. With 20 employees, the branding agency creates, maintains and manages brands. The Brander journal is published by the Branders Group.


The Brander is a publication of the Branders Group