In Search of Significant Objects : The Value of Stories

We know your designs are awesome, we know 3D printing is mind blowing, we know that it takes amazing photographs to capture your awesomely mind blowing 3D printed designs but we also need descriptions to give your objects context.

Significant Objects, is a literary and anthropological experiment whose
first two phases ran from July 2009 through October 2010, demonstrated
that the effect of narrative on any given objects subjective value can
be measured objectively.

Their basic idea was to take a range of thrift store items whose value was around $1.25 each, then write a story around the object and auction it on ebay with the story as the descriptor.  The hypothesis was “Narrative transforms insignificant objects into significant ones” and would thereby increase the value of the object. 

In the end they sold $128.74 worth of thrift-store junk for $3,612.51

Now lets take this same theory and apply it to your mind blowingly awesome 3D printed designs, if you were to write an interesting story around your design to capture the imagination, be it artistic like the Strandbeest, informative like the Bugaboo repair parts, or fantastical homage to a Chicken Nugget by a Depressed Unicorn, how would the value increase?

Look at your product page as a way to tell your product story, if you were to explain it to your grandmother what would you say? If you were to explain it to a friend at a bar? If you were going to pitch it to a retailer what would you say?  

The description is your opportunity to tell those stories. 

About me
Shapeways Designer Evangelist
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