Unicist Functionalist Approach

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Possibilities vs. Probabilities in buying processes

The discovery that the concepts individuals have drive their action and therefore their buying decisions, drove to the development of the unicist conceptual segmentation model.

If a value proposition does not fit within the concept the buyer has in her/his mind,, the possibilities to buy are equal to ”0”.

Concepts describe the functionality of a product / service seen from the point of view of the client and are the root cause of the buying process, its DNA.

The use of conceptual segmentation, defined by the concepts individual have made the operation within the field of possibilities (0 or 1) possible.: It allowed integrating the probabilistic approach once these possibilities had been defined.

This implies considering each segment as a universe, defined by the concepts that each one of them “buys”.

Inside or outside of segment?

This is particularly necessary in the development and launching of new products or innovations in the market, where the concept the customer has is unknown and the risk and costs of working outside their segments are high.

The possibilities are materialized when a value proposition fits into the conceptual structure of the customer’s buying argument. On the other hand, the probabilities are defined when the value propositions fit into the credibility zone of the customer. This credibility zone is in constant movement because every satisfied need generates a new need.

Influencing the dynamics of the buying process

As we mentioned, each satisfied need generates a new need in the mind of the potential client during the decision-making process. As people decisions are driven by the need for freedom and security, this generates a permanent pendulum between the sought for freedom and the sought for security that is implicit in any value proposition

The use of binary actions becomes necessary to emulate this dynamic and manage it. Binary actions are synchronized actions that satisfy on the one hand the sought for freedom and on the other hand, the sought for security. This allows managing the root causes of buying processes, by influencing both aspects at the same time.

Going back to the example of the aesthetics of a value proposition it is necessary to ensure that the desirable and harmonic aspects are covered in the mind of the potential buyer.


The Unicist Ontology of Aesthetics

The essential ontology of aesthetics is defined by the integration of a completing capacity with an inaccessibility of certain aspects of an object in order to produce expansion. This can be seen in nature (flowers, birds) and is just a demonstration that aesthetics is a basic function of living beings and their deeds.

Aesthetics is a paradigmatic example of the need to follow the laws of evolution. Completing implies satisfying someone’s true needs which is the purpose of aesthetics.

Inaccessibility implies that aesthetics of an object/subject includes necessarily some inexpugnable aspects that are extremely difficult to be accessed.

If someone’s aesthetics is shown through its inaccessible aspects it will produce rejection because it is evident they will not be shared. But if the first aspect is to approach people to complete their needs, the inaccessible aspects will be considered as a price.

Inaccessibility is a hygienic attribute which means it has to be there, but, being there, it will only be considered as part of the complete aesthetics of something but not as a differentiated value.

Aesthetics in real life

Aesthetics in real life is driven by the need to complete others which is defined by the maximal strategy. A minimum strategy becomes necessary only in the cases the price to access an aesthetic proposal is extremely high.

Therefore, we will focus on the development of the maximal strategy of aesthetics that drives most of human actions when using it as an attribute.

Maximal Strategy: the functional concept

Maximal strategies are defined by the functional concept of something. In the case of aesthetics, the maximal strategy implies completing someone’s needs in a desirable and harmonic way.


The purpose of aesthetics is to complete, which means that in its essence it has to be a complement for an individual.

Opposed poles attract each other. That is why an essential complement is what defines the capacity to complete something. This generates a conflict with the functionality of the aesthetic element.

Complementation has a double role: on the one hand, it attacks the complementary function but, at the same time, it completes it because of its opposed values that cover the implicit weaknesses of the complement.

Complementation completes, because it covers a structural functional need of an entity generating ambivalent feelings in those individuals who need to accept their own lack of functionality in order to be able to accept the complement.


The first step when dealing with aesthetics is to be desirable to satisfy a need that drives towards an expectancy of pleasure produced by the satisfaction of that necessity.

It implies being desirable to be possessed, meaning that someone wants to keep the object, to hold it and not only to use it.  Contractive aesthetics is driven by individuals who only want to make use of something.

Something is aesthetic when it satisfies a subjective or objective need. This has to happen within a framework of expectancy of pleasure and satisfaction of a desire.

Finally, it can be said that something is desirable when it covers an extreme need. When a need has been satisfied, an individual becomes instantly completed.


Aesthetics implies harmony. Harmony implies that the complement is consistent in itself and consistent in the context. This generates attraction but does not generate desire.

Harmony sustains aesthetics; it stabilizes it and confirms it, materializing all those aspects that complete the essential needs of an individual.

Aesthetics requires an essential harmony that, although being sustained by observable aspects, needs to be discovered. Harmony has been fulfilled when it has been perceived generating a powerful attraction.

When there is only a formal harmony, aesthetics becomes an “empty” object that generates no attraction because of its inconsistency. This essential inconsistency works although individuals cannot justify it.

Structural Segments of Aesthetics

Aesthetics has four structural segments that define its functionality. Aesthetics works as long as it completes, within a context of inaccessibility and generates desire to be possessed or used in a context of formal or essential harmony based on the expectancy awoken by the object.


Conceptual Aesthetics

It is a functional aesthetics that satisfies the deep desires of individuals.

Conceptual aesthetics makes people and objects integrate in a unit. It is the typical case of sport devices such as skis, rackets, sailboats, etc. These devices are integrated with their owners, when they are strongly depending on their use.

The harmony of this aesthetic is essential and, from a functional point of view, timeless.

This aesthetic perception varies based on the functionality of the objects. For example, the changes in the functionality of skis can make them appear old-fashioned or dysfunctional.

Conceptual aesthetics is naturally complemented by the seducing aesthetics and put into action by the aggressive one.

Classic Aesthetics

Classic aesthetics is the one that wants to be imitated. Its complementation is based on filling the need of others based on a superior and perfect harmony.

It is the most difficult aesthetics to be achieved, because it naturally collides with modernity. It can only beat modernity if it is extremely desirable and essentially harmonic.

This type of aesthetics is typical in classic art. Beyond the world of art, this aesthetics is based on the use of perfect shapes.

It can frequently be found associated with nature and it always includes subliminal aspects that make it desirable and harmonic.

Classic aesthetics is naturally complemented by the aggressive aesthetics and put into action by the seducing one.

Seducing Aesthetics

Seducing aesthetics impacts because of its inaccessibility. Its context is the world of unsatisfied desires and utopias. Seducing aesthetics traps individuals in a subtle web where they cannot leave once they have deposited their expectations on it.

Seducing aesthetics provokes the desire to dispose the object. The feeling provoked by seduction is jealousy, because one wants to be in disposition of the objects and its formal harmony without wanting to share it.

Seduction uses formal harmony which does not generate permanent adhesions. That is why seducing aesthetics needs to change when it has satisfied an existing need in order to continue being noticed.

It is an aesthetics that endures as long as it produces an impact through its inaccessibility. That is why it requires a permanent renovation.

The seducing aesthetics is naturally complemented by the conceptual aesthetics and put into action by the classic one.

Aggressive Aesthetics

Aggressive aesthetics is frequently found in arts. It is based on impact, newness, originality and uniqueness.

This type of aesthetics is based on incidental actions that produce a high level of adhesion when they are accurately targeted to the audience, but disappear as fast as they appeared.

This aesthetics requires permanent renewal and careful communication because the excess of aggression repels people.

Aggressive aesthetics generates extreme segmentation, gaining the complementation with some, but losing others. It is perceived as suspicious by people.

Aggressive aesthetics is naturally complemented by the classic aesthetics and put into action by the conceptual one.

Based on the research on aesthetics led by Peter Belohlavek at The Unicist Research Institute.

Martin Alvaro

NOTE: The Unicist Research Institute (TURI) is a world leader in its segment. Since 1976, it has been specialized in complexity sciences applied to the research on the roots of evolution and its application to social, institutional, business and individual evolution.

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