Rich Kids of Instagram and Service Dominant Logic

In case you have missed the fun… there is an amazing blog out there called “Rich Kids of Instagram”, collecting, you guessed it, pictures of rich kids on Instagram, doing… well… actually consuming just about anything you can possibly buy.

Clearly it is one of the funny blossoms of social media….and I’m sure sociologists can have a field day with what is going on there. But what does this have to do with marketing? Well – the obvious answer is that it shows off one of the most important paradigm shifts in marketing – and how social media accelerates this shift.

In “the gold old days” marketing used to be all about the product and the exchange that took place, mostly in private, between consumers and producers. But both the exchange focus and the private aspect of consumption has shifted in contemporary consumer society.  This has two main consequences:

1) It is no longer enough to simply exchange (aka buy) something. Every step of the consumption process is now a social spectacle (or at least shared). Making a choice pre-purchase can be done online, for example by reading and conversing with others about which products to buy. The actual purchase is social, in that it can be shared with friends and any “followers” for that matter, like in the picture above. Finally, consuming the purchased products has become a spectacle in itself: Sharing it via Instagram (or whatever other medium) with the world and anybody who cares to watch (from simple #foodporn to … I’m flying in this jet).

2) Because of this, the consumer him or herself – and even other people who are not actively consuming, may become all part of the consumption experience: They create value as part of the experience. Wether it is rich kids showing of and gaining “envy points” (which in turn validates their consumption), or just people unboxing stuff on YouTube – or sharing the latest holiday snaps on Facebook. Social consumption craves validation by others:  It is the reactions of others that is shaping the consumption experience increasingly.

So what can marketers learn from this: Well, making your consumption sociable is of course the obvious thing – but equally that many more people are now involved. Finally, of course, consumption is no longer just the product – rather it is the product and … services (as in SD Logic below) and other, consumption related experiences.

So, as a bit of a theoretical basis,… take a look at SD Logic. Originally posted two years

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