It turns out people are looking for less perfection in their lives.
Imperfection and even outright ugliness—the quirky, the messy and the flawed—are taking on new appeal, one of our 10 Trends for 2014. With so many products and services mass-produced and engineered for perfection, consumers have been craving that which is more natural, original or interesting. These feel less cookie-cutter and more authentic, whether we’re talking about products (e.g., homemade-looking food) or people (unretouched images, models with clear imperfections, etc.).
When it comes to products, three-quarters of U.S. and U.K. consumers we surveyed last November said they increasingly value things that aren’t machine-made, and almost 6 in 10 said they like goods that are a little imperfect (with the two younger generations more likely to agree). When it comes to people, 71 percent said they find beauty in people’s flaws, and 86 percent agreed that people’s flaws make them authentic. Our survey of 1,003 adults was conducted using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool.
Just this week, Pizza Hut announced a revamped hand-tossed pie featuring deliberate imperfections—responding to the fact that “people are increasingly turning their noses up at processed and fast foods, which are associated with uniformity and identical shapes,” as the AP reported. Rival Domino’s already instructs workers not to make the rectangle shape of its premium Artisan Pizzas too perfect. Increasingly, anything that feels less factory- or mass-produced will find favor with consumers.