Cool brands can experiment, create unique products and new methods in a much more forgiving environment. In a way it’s the same privilege that only geniuses and prodigies are given.
People will often assert that you can be different, weird and odd because you’re special. That uniqueness is so valuable that you’re allowed to do whatever it takes to produce great work. Just don’t forget that it is a credit. Don’t withdraw more than you deposit — or you could bankrupt your brand.
Coolness Arbitrage, The Business of Being Cool
Life and learning coach Jen Dzuira asserts, “You can rarely charge directly for coolness; you must practice coolness arbitrage.”
Coolness arbitrage assumes that as a person or business you can’t sell cool to other cool people. Instead you can capitalize on your coolness by selling it to the uncool.
Dzuira suggests, “Even among the highly successful, it is often the case that prestigious gigs don’t pay well. Vogue covers don’t pay. Performers at the Grammys get union scale (and access to swag). These gigs are loss leaders. That is:
1. It is very hard to make money being cool around other cool people.
2. It is very easy to make money being cool around uncool people.
3. In order to do this, you have to build up your reserves of coolness at a financial loss.
4. You must then meet less cool people and exchange your coolness for money.”
Being considered “cool” is covetable because others will pay a premium to see what is on the other side. Actress Mae West, whose entertainment career spanned seven decades, had tremendous success by giving her upper class audience a slumming experience.
Since they couldn’t get a glimpse into this world anywhere else, they paid a premium to get it. This world that was so commonplace for one group, was completely unknown to another group that wanted to experience it without actually having to live it.
Funny how that works.
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Felicia Ceballos-Marroquin is the Founder of Acrassy Marketing, a Los Angeles-based marketing and web design and development firm that believes in giving small businesses the marketing power of a large corporation on a small scale.
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