2011 Marketing Trends: Online Status Symbols
Online culture still is the culture, and thus we’ll see a rise in online status symbols in the next 12 months (after all, status symbols reflect the zeitgeist like nothing else). What started with showing off the number of visitors to one’s Flickr pages or blog now also encompasses the number of one’s Facebook friends (or any other social network), Twitter followers, Foursquare check-ins and a host of other metrics that indicate one’s ‘wiredness’.
In the next 12 months, you can’t go wrong supplying your (online-loving) customers with any kind of symbol, virtual or ‘real world’ that helps them display to peers their online contributions, interestingness, creations or popularity.
Indeed, one extra element to watch out for is new status symbols that straddle the ‘real’ and ‘online’ worlds. From physical manifestations of digital status (think personalized Facebook and Twitter memorabilia), to online recognition of physical activities (status updates or badges based on real-world visits), consumers will seek to display their online status symbols in all arenas. Some fun (yet telling) examples:
- Twournal enables users of Twitter to transform their tweets and pictures into a real-life published journal. In addition to creating their own ‘books’, users can also buy and sell publications from other users.
- US based CrowdedInk offers an app that allows users to generate mugs filled with pictures of their Facebook friends or Twitter followers. Users only need to enter their username and a preview of the mug is automatically generated in minutes.
- Location-based social game Foursquare awards members with badges for performing tasks, including the Supermayor badge (awarded when someone is mayor of 10 different places at once), the Entourage badge (awarded when checking-in with 10 friends), the Gym Rat badge (awarded when someone has checked- in on 10 trips to the gym in 30 days), and even the Last Degree badge (awarded when checking-in at the North Pole .
- Nerd Merit Badges are real-life, physical representations of a user’s online achievements through Foursquare. The fully embroidered, velcro-backed badges sell for approximately USD 6. And Foursquare’s own online store now offers similar real-world buttons.
Article from: Trendwatching