Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Enhancing Homes Sex Appeal

Smart Sellers use Evolutionary Economics to increase sex appeal (of their homes, that is)


The marketing power of sex appeal is not a new concept. It is no coincidence that sex innuendo and the ubiquitous use of the erotic and exotic has been used for several years in commerce and trade, from the so-called satiric pornography of Calvin Klein ads to the muscle men and women hawking Evian water, to the sensual allure used in graphic and advertising design in music, art, film, packaging, and publishing. Artistic flare and technological innovation are unquestionably the basis of the recent partnership of Dolce & Gabbana with Motorola for the marketing of one-thousand gold Motorola RAZR V3i phones, and the marketing itself is based on the tenets and principles of Evolutionary Economics.

Evolutionary Economics theorize that change is based on repetition of technology and routines. If change occurs constantly in the economy, then a mechanism is in act that replicates the Darwinian sequences of evolution that provide selection, generate variation and establish self-replication – a process that is otherwise known as ‘progress’. The theory postulates that markets act as the major selection vehicles. The variety of competing firms is both in their products and practices that are matched against markets. Both products and practices are determined by routines that firms use: standardized patterns of actions implemented constantly. By imitating these routines, firms propagate them and thus establish inheritance of successful practices.

The link between sex appeal and marketing is established by one of the tenets of Evolutionary Economics, in that consumers love novelties and, what’s more, can create novelties. Evolutionary Economics does not view consumers as mere passive recipients of goods and services but, rather, active producers as well. The reason is that at the basis of production and consumption there is human imagination and desire for novelty. Furthermore, when people actually ‘own’ novelties in the form of goods they set about to convince others that the possession of such novelties shows that they have achieved a higher status, and that if others were clever enough to do what they did or to possess the same things that they have, then the others too could achieve high status and enjoy all the things that come from it, including the best sex (if a male) or the highest economic security (if a female) that they could possibly desire. As Aristotle Onassis once said "The only point in being rich is to have as much sex as you want with as many beautiful women as you want".

As unorthodox and bizarre as this particular marketing concept may sound, it has revealed itself to be deadly effective in commerce and trade. Taken as individual goods, high-fashion couture and cellular phone have absolutely nothing in common and, on the other hand, if Motorola itself were to set about selling gold cellular phones the marketing would likely be catastrophic. But by combining Motorola’s technology with Dolce & Gabbana’s fashion sex appeal and exotic innuendo the match is perfect. This concept is about to enter finance and real estate as well.. Think about it carefully: the home is the place where the two genders meet, it is the perfect status symbol and the purchase and sale of a home is the quintessential novelty for the Seller (the producer) and the Buyer (the consumer). A question, therefore, arises as to how Sellers can improve the odds by enhancing home marketing through sex appeal. The answer lies in making homes as much comfortable (for the men) and reassuring (for the women) as possible.

Architectural styles of new constructions are changing already, with the ever increasing round looks of exteriors reminiscent of feminine sensuality and the use of glazed windows and conspicuous steel beams – male machismo at its best, while on the inside, comfort and reassurance are perhaps best signified by the increasing use of home elevators. The bathroom is certainly one of the most frequently-used rooms in the house, and just a few subtle changes in color can make the difference between a cold, sterile environment and a warm, welcoming one. The same effect can be expanded throughout the home by painting a few rooms, hang no-sew window treatments an even by merely adding throw pillows here and there, or new bed linens. The skillful blend of colors, woods and home design elements promotes feminine harmony, warmth and balance with char green, sand, white, red, black, dark brown and all colors of nature at the top of the line and, if contemplating a hardwood floor, mahogany is the wood of choice since it enriches the environment rendering a sense of abundance, and slate flooring and polished concrete walls help create a natural masculine feeling, especially if combined and contrasted with the glacial looks of stainless steel appliances.

It does not take much in terms of money invested to create the link with sex appeal, which is the stimulant to emotional engagement. And since real estate selling is, ultimately, based entirely on emotions the Seller that can find the way to use emotional leverage by tapping and enhancing the source or sources of home sex appeal will benefit immensely from one of the best marketing tools ever, the efficiency of which has been proven over and over by major marketing establishments all over the world.

Luigi Frascati


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