Upon invitation of the Brand Research Laboratory, Prof. Dr. Michael von Brück visited Innsbruck to give the Brand Venture VIII lecture on “in Search of (Brand) Identity between the Ordinary and the Distinctive”.
Prof. von Brück is Professor of religious studies at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität Munich, a protestant pastor, a Zen and Yoga teacher, a leading expert on Indian culture and eastern religions, and a regular discussion partner of the XIVth Dalai Lama.
We first met Prof. von Brück on his first visit to the Brand Research Laboratory in April 2012 where he attended Brand Venture VII on “Morphic Resonance” with Prof. Rupert Sheldrake. Michael had met Rupert in the 1980s where both studied Eastern Religions in a South-Indian Ashram.
In a very engaging and inspiring Brand Venture Lecture on 28th June 2012, Prof Michael von Brück explained his theory of how beauty emerges, and what animates the search for it.
His key premise is that humans are on a constant search for perfection, but they never actually reach it. Perfection, or the perfect image, results from a particular balance of “ordinary” and “distinctive” elements. Most of what we experience in the world is repetitive. Think of dance, music, or crystals. Their beauty lies in part in the repetition of forms and themes. However, perfect repetition and symmetry is also quite boring. A face or body, for example, is seen not seen as particularly beautiful if it is perfectly symmetric, but if it has something that is different, e.g. distinctive.
This principle entails two interesting messages for marketers. First, they might benefit from teaming up with their customers in the search for perfection. And then they might define how much repetition and how much of the extraordinary is most useful when defining new brands, meanings, objects, services and etc. As Rupert has explained, “morphic resonance” with existing knowledge is useful to create familiarity. But as Michael has emphasized, the distinctive in necessary to make it more interesting.
For a short audio sample of Prof. von Brücks lecture click here!