SKETCHING THE MYTHS, MEANINGS AND METAPHORS OF COOL
The Super Brands UK, Cool Council defines that all cool brands have a consistent presence of certain values:
Cool is forever distinctive and is aspirational.
Cool generally goes against the grain (not necessarily rebellious).
Cool is itself - it doesn’t try too hard.
Cool is authentic, it doesn’t try too hard.
The subscribers of Cool behave like a tribe.
While these characteristics form the core of cool, the ramifications and manifestations of this cool differs across cultures. Cool is not culture-agnostic, instead it is culture-driven.
Western Cool - It is all about doing your own thing. It firmly anchors itself in individuality as the primary instrument of human exploration and creative fulfillment. An individuality that has to be unrestrained and unchecked and must press forward at all costs, even to the exclusion of the larger community.
Indian Cool, on the other hand is all about Me and my community. The Indian way of life has its roots in the ancient Vedic tradition and so holds true with Indian cool as well. It seems that in India if you are outside the ambit of the society, then unlike the West, you aren’t cool- you are an outcast! And nobody wants to be an outcast in a deeply collectivist society like India.
Western cool is all about rebellion, even without a cause
Indian cool is not about rebellion at all. Be a rebel, for a greater cause, when all else fails.
Western cool traditionally springs from bottom up.
Indian cool is mandated and not self-bred! Indian cool often comes from top down.
Western cool is about Expression, Indian cool is about Aspiration.
Emerging themes of Cool
One of the key emerging themes of cool will be the emergence of local movements and expressions, that shall seek to reinforce, re-interpret and re-vitalize local cultural and historical symbols. It could be either through pure play or through fusion.
The new cool will be about coming to terms with these developments and keeping your identity intact.
Human technology interactions will probably be the biggest dynamic that cool will play out on.
Cool will be about evangelism, philanthropy and filial affiliation. This theme will be more visible in developed economies.
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