"How To Create A Social Object"

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[Photo courtesy of Carly Starrat]

Yesterday I was in Chicago, at the WOMMA Summit, riffing about “Social Objects”, a subject very dear to my heart.

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.]


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