I was pretty sure I had not bought any virtual goods; I’d rather give a real bunch to the missus instead of getting her a one-dimensional rose on Facebook. Heck I might lose my face if I show with my byte-based present.
I caught a bit of the first day of @leweb a couple of days ago. During the time I watched it was all about games, mobile, social and payments. I won’t be surprised if that’s how it went for the rest of the sessions.
Fact is, I might be the only old-f@art not buying virtual goods. Billions of dollars have exchanged hands, and many companies have become hugely profitable off the back of these ethereal goods. And they all seem to get even stronger sale/expansion outlooks.
Thing is, I think there is a more comprehensive of virtual goods when I said I had not bought any yet.
If you think of software as a virtual good – whether it is a spreadsheet, a smartphone game, or an iTunes track – I guess this means we’re in this virtual commerce exchange for a long time now. The distinctive feature of these goods is that they have intellectual inputs that ‘impact’ the purchaser or recipient. The problem with my earlier definition was that I did not see intellectual inputs on electronic cows (which are totally different to electric sheep, but I digress).
Hopefully, you have agreed with this revised definition of virtual goods and with the fact that you and I have been supporting this economy for yonks. Let me put something else on top of that:
Physical goods – computers, jeans, coffee – have virtual goods in their make up that appeases or satisfy us emotionally, over and above the fact that the computer is fast, that those jeans hold your butt beautifully, or that the coffee is going to wake you up.
I put to you that those virtual goods are encapsulated in what we call ‘brand’. The implicit assumption is that, perhaps over time, you can find the physical features of branded (and great) goods in other white label products. Manufacturing technology, design progress and Japan seem to indicate this is rather plausible.
That was a bit of a long road to assert that the virtual elements of your product/service have the potential to be the source of customer engagement with them.
Where are our virtual goods in recruitment? How do agencies and hiring organisations build in virtual goods that make clients and job seekers react emotionally in their favour?
I guess as an industry we don’t invest sufficiently in these virtual goods. It might be worthwhile considering investing in them as these could be a tangible part of what you call your differentiators.
What will it take for you to consider investment in your virtual goods? Money? Better understanding?
If you leave an insightful comment I will send you recommendation to be an honorary member of Pet Society.
Have a good weekend