Pauline Brown on Another AI that has the power to transform business – WWD

Having another AI is key to business today – and Pauline Brown says it’s not just for the world’s LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuittons.

Brown, former president of LVMH North America and a veteran of private equity giant Carlyle and The Estée Lauder Cos.

Brown now wants to teach people how to get good taste – or how to develop better taste – and apply it to their business.

The concept of Aesthetic Intelligence is a blood vessel that Brown has been exploiting for some time. She began teaching a course in the business of cosmetology at Harvard Business School in 2016.

The idea is to disrupt the “aesthetic experience” that has made Lauder or LVMH so long and transform the approach for everyone else. “How would a dental clinic manager internalize these principles and apply them?” Brown asked.

Turns out, that’s a good question.

The course led to the HarperCollins book “Aesthetic Intelligence: How to Motivate and Use It in Business and Beyond.” And Brown is currently teaching the concepts in a course at Columbia Business School. (She also has a lifestyle radio show, Tastemakers, that airs weekly on Sirius XM.)

pauline brown's book aesthetic intelligence

Pauline Brown’s new digital course on Aesthetic Intelligence expands on themes from her book.

But Brown now wants to go bigger and faster.

The book was published in 2019 and currently misses out on case studies from the past two, very busy years. And each class reaches a maximum of 100 students.

“How do I continue that conversation?” she wondered. “How do I reach a much broader audience and get them to learn the way I want these immersive classroom experiences to feel?”

The answer is an online course that quietly started over the summer with over 60 paying students and is now ready to roll out more broadly.

The Aesthetic Mind Lab allows students to log in and work at their own pace with master classes in videos, readings and newsletters, as well as live events and workshops.

“We have a growing community who also help some of the big companies in the Aesthetic Intelligence space and are starting to do custom training programs with companies,” says Brown. medical and automotive.

“Today’s final premise is that great aesthetics, whatever business you’re in, starts with getting a feel for one’s personal taste,” Brown said. Brown said. “This is not about teaching people a single form of taste, but: ‘What’s your taste buds?’ and ‘What does it look like?’ and ‘How do you get better at your particular sensitivities?’ and ‘How do you apply that to your brand, your preferences, your design, your culture, your media?’

She describes Apple’s Steve Jobs as “the godfather of the concept even though he never used the term.”

“Steve Jobs was a smart man, but he wasn’t as smart as [Microsoft’s] Bill Gates used to be like that,” Brown said. “His aesthetic intelligence goes astray. Steve Jobs’ genius was how to articulate his vision of what looked and felt good to him. It cannot be rated for the art department.

“Aesthetics matters in business and it matters more than ever,” she says. “In a world where we don’t need more and everything is getting cheaper, we need a way to experience ourselves.”

Brown says that 85% of the reason people buy from a particular brand is because of how they feel about it. Brands that don’t have nefarious sentiments are quickly overtaken by competitors in terms of price or speed.

“That is a strong advantage,” she said. “I call it the aesthetic advantage.”

It’s an advantage that requires a bit of introspection and perhaps turning the world around a bit.

“You can’t bring out the best flavors if you’re not sensitive to the stimuli that come to us all the time,” she says, noting that people are used to shutting themselves off from the noisy world. , especially in cities. “You can’t take it all.”

And feeling it all again helps people at brands communicate a little more about that feeling.

“When I define aesthetics, it is not about visual luxury,” she said. “It’s about a sensual pleasure.”

That makes it all the more difficult because fashionmigrating to the web, but not impossible.

“The best online experience, the best they can do is capture the imagination,” says Brown. “They had to use visuals to bring people into a space, not unlike what happens with a great Hollywood movie.”

That requires people to think a little bit “less logically and empathically” to hook into the right memories to tell the right kind of stories to connect.

While Brown comes from a luxurious background, each has an aesthetic.

“If you think about the people you know who have the best taste, they are never the richest,” she says. “When people have unlimited means, they don’t need the discipline to trade for what they don’t like. Great taste includes what you don’t do as well as what you do. ”

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