I talk a lot about the importance of social objects – stuff for people to talk about – in marketing and the idea that successful brands naturally create a lot of them.
Neil Boorman’s latest post presents a slightly depressing alternative reality of brands as unsocial objects. He describes his fellow laptop users at the British Library, and their apparent lack of engagement with each other. I was a bit depressed by this story:
Months ago, I noted on this blog a conversation I had with a brand manager at Adidas; he believed in treating people according to the stereotypes of their brands, that this system of values saves us time in selecting friends and partners. According to this law, there would be no point in making friends with the attractive Asian women who sits beside me each day, because she has a clunky old Hewlett Packard. Nor the friendly looking middle-aged guy who sits opposite me with his Toshiba