An expensive watch is a fashion item. Unlike early days, it is not worn for its function, but to express a style statement. It works more of defining who I am rather than as a tool for myself. Watch is a social object !! so is a car, a suit, a bag – all fashion.
iPod is successful for many reasons, but one of the main one being its social visibility. What if it was a tool used inside ones privacy – say a bathroom ? Would it command such premium $$ ?
Social objects are marketing tools. This is best way to decrease marketing costs and enhance message effectiveness. But at the same time, social object help humans project a larger (or better) than life image of oneself. So individuals participate in socializing any object for his /her own selfish interest to ‘show off’ – in good way. While producer / business gets to expand their marketing message through free viral distribution.
Social objects command premium pricing – non-social objects become commodities
What makes any object socially visible ?
1. when it is used / consumed in public – not private.
2. Share usage preference /pattern in public.
3. when expertise or knowledge about it is shared
4. when it is consumed collectively in a group