Is science-fiction catching up to social networking? In a recent PC World article it seems that way. Imagine wearing a shirt with a bar code that can connect a stranger to your social networking profile by a click of your cellphone camera. Well a company in the Netherlands called W-41 has adapted such a product. In my opinion only a special sort of person would wear an item like this on a regular basis. But for other uses like conferences or singles events it “could” be useful.
The article states this branding as an “online-offline integration,” and the concept is interesting, although I am not sure how accpetable this is in a typical social situation. I feel this could remove some of the face-to-face interaction, can you image getting an email saying “I saw you at the bar, but I was too scared to talk to you, so instead I took a picture of you so I could email you later?”
In a New York Times article, A-Ron, a 29 year old Manhattan resident, answers “how do I turn my lifestyle into a business?” A high school dropout, A-Ron started putting his own personal brand on products he calls aNYthing, which he sells at stores. But why do these items sell?
In class tonight our guest speaker Corbet Curfman, a branding expert, discussed the idea of brand. He talked in depth about what makes a brand successful. One aspect he spoke to was having a “no substitute” type of product. This means the products can’t be replaced by something else in the customer’s eyes. A-Ron’s brand is very unique and displays a cultural message about New York that people can relate to, and those outside New York who want to relate. The article states the reason for A-Ron’s success clearly, “if a product is successfully tied to an idea, branding persuades people — consciously or not — to consume the idea by consuming the product.” Corbet spoke a lot about this and was quite insightful about branding, even interactive branding which aNYthing has also broken into by selling products online along side video clips and music.