Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Glass is expensive.
Google Glass is unwieldy.
Google Glass is kooky.
Google Glass is something that only rich people can afford to buy and…
Whoa. Stop right there, please.
We just hit on the reason why Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Glass can’t miss clicking in the U.S. marketplace. It has become recognized as a certifiable American status symbol — and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) couldn’t be more tickled about this evolution.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Glass follows neatly on the heels of the array of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) products which have as much appeal as status symbols as technological marvels. In their heyday, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s computers, phones, tablets and music devices shouted, “I’m a member of a selective club. I fly first-class, buddy, even on a short flight.” As Apple’s luster has faded and competitors have challenged the company, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has assumed the mantle of a company boasting innovation and snob appeal.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s methods deserve some examination. In March, Business Insider pointed out: “Google has selected 8,000 regular people to try out Google Glass, effectively turning its computerized headset into the ultimate status symbol.”
But it is a status symbol that looks unattractive and cumbersome. That’s largely why Google Glass has many detractors. People get the feeling that Google is trying to sell us a gimmick, at least at this early stage.
In May, National Journal observed: “Mocking Glass for its impracticality, goofiness and — oh yeah — its creep factor has become something of a national pastime. There’s nothing wrong with a little satire, particularly when it’s aimed at a company that presumes to tell us what we want before we know it.”
Google was obviously quite shrewd, all along, to present Google Glass an object of snob appeal. In February, Google began taking applications from ordinary citizens to become a part of its exclusive Google Glass Explorer Program and test-drive the sought-after product. To gain access to one of the contraptions, you had to prove you were worthy by informing Google what you wanted to do.
Google played the Glass frontier to the hilt, squeezing out every bit of marketability. It took the application on its Google Plus site and Twitter. The people who wanted to apply had to denote their applications with the hashtag “#ifihadglass.” According to media speculation, there were eventually 145,000 references to #ifihadglass on Twitter and Google+.
Out of all those applicants, Google only selected 8,000 people. By making Google Glass look exclusive, the company succeeded it giving it a special aura and allowing a word-of-mouth appeal to build.
Google Glass is benefiting from its newness. It represents the new frontier of what Silicon Valley and retailers call “wearable technology.”