Thursday, January 13, 2011
Marginal Revolution (MR) pointed me to Ok Trends which develops insights based on the data from OkCupid, self-described "best dating site on earth."
In its latest post, Ok Trends explores the mathematics of beauty and comes to surprising conclusions. By comparing the number of messages that women receive and comparing it to their rated attractiveness, its study finds that the more men disagree about a woman's looks, the more they end up liking her. Guys will tend to ignore women who are "cute." Comparing two women of the same level of rated attractiveness, the woman with the most negative ratings will get the most messages. As the reports says: "If someone doesn't think you're hot, the next best thing for them to think is that you're ugly."
And isn't that so with brands? Better to be passionately liked and hated than neither liked or disliked. As an MR commenter says, isn't this why Fox and MSNBC are killing CNN in the ratings? Your loyalty to a brand can actually increase if you know that others don't like it.
Ok Trends offers some advice based on the survey results. Rather than use a photo that is: "Clearly designed to minimize some supposedly unattractive trait—the close-cropped picture of a person who's probably overweight is the classic example," do the opposite. Based on the mathematical evidence, minimizing flaws is exactly the wrong thing to do. "If you have a big nose, play it up. If you have a weird snaggletooth, play it up: statistically, the guys who don't like it can only help you, and the ones who do like it will be all the more excited.
What is your brand's snaggletooth?