This post is aimed to probe these questions: What is the future of product marketing and design that maximizes desirability of a product? If you want to keep your marketing and design (a.k.a. M/D) schemes one step ahead of the competition and really STAND OUT from the crowd in order to really make a lot of profit, what will you do to be more clever than the competition?
According to the newest study by TrendWatching.com (http://www.trendwatching.com/trends/statusstories.htm) “Brands have been telling their stories for decades now. Typically, in a mass-advertising, mass-branding world, the ‘telling’ has involved reaching (and impressing) as many consumers as possible. Those who literally bought into these storied brands then gained the respect and admiration of other brand-exposed consumers.”
Let’s look at the successful M/D tactics in the past. Ponder this example, also from the TrendWatching piece: “if you’re Jaguar, and your (expensive) story is about old money with a dollop of English eccentricity and the whole world is aware of this, then consumers craving recognition from anyone impressed with this kind of lifestyle only need to buy one of your cars to bask in the glow of their peers’ admiration.”
In other words, products such as the Jaguar have been marketed as STATUS SYMBOLS. Experts are predicting that this trend will soon be competing with STATUS STORY M/D. What that means is that M/D teams will begin to make their products desirable by having customers tell their desirable STATUS STORIES. What is a status story?
According to the TrendWatching report: “STATUS STORIES are an answer to some of the major shifts and trends taking place in the consumption arena, from uniqueness, to visibility, to ‘alternative status sources’:” In other words, STATUS STORY is the new STATUS SYMBOL. A product has a good STATUS STORY rating if it is a product that is worth telling a story about to others or if the product itself tells a story for you. Take these ideas for example:
“Hubwear sells t-shirts that display a wearer’s favorite travel routes in airport codes (think JFK, AMS, MIA, HKG and so on). All shirts, as Hubwear likes to point out, tell a story: from amazing sabbaticals to crazy work trips to earth-saving internships.”
“DNA 11 creates personalized art from DNA and fingerprints. For DNA art, a simple method of non-invasive collection includes a mouth swab. The company then harvests a sample of the client’s DNA to capture their genetic fingerprint and transforms it into an artistic representation of a person’s life code.”
As you might be able to discern from these example, personalization and uniqueness will be HUGE factors in product design in the future. This idea is even reflected in website design of one of the hippest, most “forward thinking” company right now, MTV. Check out MTV.com and notice the constantly revolving background art.
The bottom line is that the future holds for us a world where the STATUS worth of a product is no longer simply reliant upon the price paid for it. It is about how cool of a story you can tell about this product. Now more than ever it is easier and more effective for customers to tell their status stories to millions of people via the internet. Could companies profit simply by facilitating this process?
Some questions I’d like you all to answer:
Do you buy in to this idea? Do you see it happening in the world and is it prominent? Do you see any logical faults in the idea or the ideas presented in the TrendWatching.com article?
Can describe a scenario in which a currently popular product could potentially be more popular by implementing this philosophy? For example: what if the Ipod allowed you to karaoke directly on to it and then automatically upload it to the net in order to tell an “Ipod story”?
Thanks for taking the time to consider my post!