While browsing Economist over the weekend, learnt a new term-erotic capital. Its defined as a complex mix of physical and social assets, consisting of beauty, self-presentation, social skills, liveliness and sex appeal.
Latest research confirms what many successful marketers had learnt long time back- 'erotic capital' is as important as 'human capital' (what you know) and 'social capital' (who you know) to gain influence. While the Economist article focuses on how individuals (particularly women) have benefitted from erotical capital, many smart marketers have long highlighted the elements of erotical capital in their products, services and companies resulting in great success for their brand awareness and demand generation campaigns. Few examples immediately come to mind. Singapore Airlines created the 'Singapore Girl', Apple has used its superiority in product design and Microsoft capitalised on GUI and 'drag and drop' features of Windows to build their erotic capital to cultivate purchase preference.
While it may be argued that investing in erotic capital may be more fruitful in the business-to-consumer space, this is an interesting idea for all marketers. Afterall, isn't it true that we make purchase decisions based on our emotions first, and then justify them with logic? And even behind every business-to-business transaction, there is a decision maker with real feelings and emotions.