Earlier this year, we expressed the necessity for brands and retailers to trade on what it means to be human. We investigated the rise of Havas’ meaningful brands in our post regarding empathy and the role human intimacy plays in creating connections between people and the brands they engage with.
Back in April, Internet Age Media’s conference begged the question ‘‘in a romantic atmosphere where swiping breaks longevity down to rarity, a start-up landscape where businesses & colleagues come and go like Michelangelo, and a political mood where solidarity is impossible: how do we create the intimacy we need to hear and feel each other?’
With this question in mind, Courtney Maum’s Touch (a New York Times Editor’s Choice selection) is a timely novel that explores intimacy. ). Last month, Courtney sat on a panel at Brooklyn Book Festival that explored the ‘Science of Intimacy’. We therefore reached out to discuss her recent novel, the importance of intimacy today and how this is useful for brands.
Courtney shared with us that by definition, intimacy is as a closeness that usually has a physical connotation, at least in people’s minds. It can feel very intimate locking yourself in a bathroom during a party to read texts from someone. Therefore, the notion of intimacy has changed and to an extent it is exciting. She further explains that we have become these cucible-d texting, scrolling humanoids whose primary form of socialising, often, takes place through screens.
However, this lifestyle has brought us to a touch deficit. In her second novel, TOUCH, Courtney constructs a narrative that illustrates that we need to pay attention to skin hunger. In our interview, Courtney details that physical intimacy is important because (when used respectfully and consensually, of course), human touch can fast lane empathy. Therefore it is essential that we don’t forget how to use body language. She explains further that if a language isn’t used enough, then history has taught us that they can become extinct.
This is an incredibly valuable insight for brands. As in our blog post detailing the case for creativity, brands must consider how to nurture engagement by tapping into human sentimentalities. Retail spaces need to allure and appeal to our visceral system. Thus to innovate, brands must reflect and consider how to awaken the senses, and reconnect to what it means to be human.
You can order TOUCH here.