If you want to stimulate something cool, dont give it to geeks first. Google Glass became aware that the hard way.
Despite Snapchats best efforts, Robert Scoble still got a hold of a pair of the Spectacles camera glass. Hes the enthusiastic tech blogger above who shot a nude selfie wearing Google Glass in the shower that came to personify the gadgets cursed brand.He even acknowledges to me that it was smart that Snap Inc didnt send him a pair.
A SpectaScobles selfie was the exact opposite of Snapchats plan. Thats why it didnt deliver any review units of Spectacles to bloggers, or send them to tech celebrities who usually get early beta access to new products.
If it did, that would have forged a perception of Spectacles as a serious device meant to be painstakingly reviewed instead of casually playing with as they should be. And it would have positioned them for serious adults and early adopters, instead of the typical teens that make up Snapchats core user base.
So instead, it abruptly dropped a goofy vending machine full of Spectacles on a beach boardwalk in LA, near a national park in Big Sur, California, and a roadside tourist trap off Route 61 near Tulsa, Oklahoma. Snapchat lovers scrambled to get there quick and stand in long lines in hopes of scoring a pair.
There are several reasons this was brilliant 😛 TAGEND
Artificial Scarcity People love exclusivity, but with an air of egalitarianism. By not openly selling them online or in a permanent brick-and-mortar store, and instead making their accessibility extremely limited, somewhat random, and merely for those working willing to stand in line, their perceived value skyrocketed. Sure, people are selling them on eBay for huge markups at $800 to $2000 dollars. But the point was anyone with $130 and some luck could don the glasses.
Geographic Clustering Snapchat itself blew up in LA high schools, becoming a hit with a densely interconnected group of teens long before the press picked up on the phenomenon. Facebook actually started quite similarly, merely being available at a few elite colleges like Harvard, Columbia, and Stanford. Spectacles is likewise launched like this. Beyond inducing everybody else a bit jealous, it restriction the chance of someone being the only person in their region employing the product. For Snapchat and Facebook, that entailed people actually had friends to use the app with. And for Spectacles, it entails there will still be hype left to exploit when they reached the east coast and abroad.
Buying As An Experience When was the last time the acquisition of a product felt as momentous as owning the product itself, and that moment wasnt vexing? Sure lots of people remained up late to order their Apple Watch and tweet what configuration they get, though I wouldnt call that fun. People get excited about their place in the waitlist to use the Mailbox email app, yet the eventual rollout was anti-climactic. But the googly-eyed Snapbot vending machine, dropped in scenic locations, with an augmented reality try-on screen, got almost as much coverage as the videos you stimulate with Spectacles.
Snapchat isnt the only one realise big, flashy press conference and early access for journalists arent the only style to release a product.
Facebook cut back on glitzy launch events following one it hurled for Facebook Home, which instantly flopped. Andafter Sean Parkers video app Airtime bumbled its 2012 launching extravaganza with broken demos featuring celebrities like Jim Carrey, its 2016 relaunch had no event attached.
And poor Google Glass. It tried to normalize wearing a computer on your face by handing it to the least fashionable people around, bloggers and app makers. It required people to look cool wearing it, or at the least not super weird, before anyone cared what the reviews said and the apps did. Thats why the first memorable photos of Spectacles werent shot by Scoble, but by famous manner photographer Karl Lagerfeld.
Scoble concludes that the Spectacles Snapbots make a lot more sense than the style Google rolled out Google Glass to developers and nerds.