Our need to share with others

This is part four in a part five series about choices. Click here for part one, two and three

Have you ever started to share with someone about a really good book that you just read or movie you just watched only to get to a point where you know the other person cannot follow what you are saying because it was one of those “I guess you had to be there” moments? Now imagine that every experience that you had from now on was one of these “you really had to be there” moments and you could not share with anyone what you have experienced. This would be a very lonely existence indeed!

Our need to share with others and to be “included” helps shape our decisions. We do not want to be left out of from the water cooler talk at work and we want to share our opinions about the latest movie. Because of this, we often choose to see the movies that other people are seeing or to read what other people are reading.

What we are really doing is choosing to join a community – a community with a common bond of consumption. Joining such a community helps to tame an unmanageable number of choices because many of the choices are already made for us. If I join the “liberal democrat” community or “The Red Hat Society” then some decisions are already made for me (or made easier for me). Also, as a member I get to share in common experiences with others and share in a common “short-hand” way of speaking that proves I am part of the group (“The pow is really phat, dude” for the snowboarding community).

Do you have such a community for your product? Is your product remarkable enough to demand such a community?


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