Kudos to Katie Kile for summing up my nine principles for creating social objects.
1. Make Meaning: The market for people wanting something to believe in is infinite; make your products “worth it.”
2. Create/Find a Purpose: People often confuse purpose with meaning, but the purpose relates back to the reason you get up in the morning and do what you do.
3. Create Play: Humans innately like to play; it’s the way we first start negotiating the world, so give people a reason to want to interact with your product.
4. Create New Language: If you want to evolve your product, you have to evolve marketing. You have to talk to people in a way they have never been talked to before.
5. Create share-ability: Don’t make it easy for people to share your product; Make it easy for them to share THEMSELVES.
6. Push Boundaries of Design: Design matters! It has the ability to differentiate your product.
7. Facilitate Community: Turn your product into a place where people gather rather than thing people that people buy.
8. Create New Context: Allow people to see your brand in a new light.
9. Enable “Meatspace”: Bring people together to facilitate discussions around your product.
Like every other list I’ve ever made, this list is still a work-in-progress, and far from definitive or complete. But it’s still an idea that excites me, many, many blog posts later.
[N.B. I didn’t coin the term, Social Objects. That honor goes to and old blogging buddy of mine, the insanely brilliant Jyri Engestrom. Though I did do a pretty good job of popularizing it in marketing circles etc etc.]