T.H.E. Insights‎ > ‎

Change in the mirror

posted 23 Aug 2010, 02:08 by Unknown user   [ updated 23 Aug 2010, 03:37 ]
Has no one told the fashion industry that humans don't like change. Didn't they get the memo that change is difficult? If they did, they either ignored it or did not understand what it was about. The fashion industry doesn't concern itself with change, it just has faith in the power of the mirror!

And 'mirror neurons' are why the industry prospers. Merely seeing someone else wearing a new style, especially someone famous or a role model, triggers the brain to copy, imitate, or try to behave the same. That's why mega brands are so keen to have super-stars wear or use their merchandise, even to the point of giving them away free. These specialized brain cells also fire when we see actions performed or emotions expressed that we automatically mimic. We are all familiar with how infectious yawning or laughing can be. This is human mirroring at work.

One of the key reasons the fashion industry can play on this human aspect so successfully
is that it takes very little effort to keep with the latest trends or styles. New products or brands are carefully engineered so that they can be easily adopted. Just imagine how difficult it would be to start a new fashion that took 30 minutes to wear. The fashion industry knows the quicker the better; the easier to wear the more popular the item - just look at jeans. The only time-consuming, high maintenance trend that comes to mind that was a world-wide success is 'the teddy boy DA' haircut. However, that probably had the most famous person of all time promoting it - Elvis. And, I would imagine the men believed they would be equally attractive to women if they donned the same haircut. Sex sells. Another fashion industry corner stone, but that's for another day.

So, is change really difficult? Do humans reject new things, finding them difficult to a
dopt? If you ask the IT industry they say change management is 'nearly impossible'! If you ask the fashion industry they would respond 'its human nature and we have built an industry on it'. The real truth is that if you make change difficult, needing lots of effort with very little reward, then yes, it is difficult. However, if you make it enjoyable, rewarding and trendy then it is easy, it happens almost automatically.

Terry Wilcox
Theory of Human Excellence