Wanted to give you an example of an inanimate object that gives people meaning. And of course what I mean by that is that people assign meaning to it, develop a relationship with it and come to depend on it.
When fitness trackers came out they gave me the willies. Still do. Since I stay far away from them what I understand is they can monitor your activity, record progress and even collect biological vital signs.
Which is great if the data stayed within five feet of you at all times.
But it doesn’t. It is uploaded somewhere else. The security impact of this was demonstrated when one company had a data breach and a map of senior military leaders out for their daily morning run in enemy territory was posted on the internet.
Eventually fitness trackers will be used to allocate food allotments and medical care, but have fun.
My point is people are attached to these things. They love having a record of their physical activity, especially the runners and walkers. Their milestones and accumulating miles are talked about with pride. It gives them something to organize their personality around, gives them something to talk about, to compare, to brag or feel bad about in the case of the guy who won’t stop talking about the ultramarathon he just finished.
In situations where a bunch of people have fitness trackers and one or two people don’t they get to feel the power of insider status and superiority. They get to emphasize it be making pointed comments along the lines of, what are you waiting for.
All of these and more are elements of meaning. And this is just one thing. We all do it with multiple things in our lives.
For business owners, we are in the business of making meaning for our customers whether we like the idea or not.
Because if you are selling something that doesn’t give them enough meaning, they will go to a similar vendor who will at least give them a damn car magnet for their trouble.
But seriously, you should give some thought to helping your customers with the natural function of creating meaning with the things they buy and do that make up their lives.