To promote its Cayman S model, Porsche gave car lovers access to its 3D printing data. The idea was that those 50 people who actually own a 3D printer can now print their own Porsche, customize it, color it, play with it and share it with their social graph.
The idea has a limited potential, if only because the consumer market penetration of 3D printers is so small today. But, once (and if) 3D printers become a commodity likely to be found in any home, this line of brand thinking can become major.
Social objects, like 3D printed Porsche, are an amazing proxy to real thing to aspirational luxury consumers. What keychains, small leather goods, iPhone cases and the like do for luxury brands today, 3D printed objects can do for those same luxury brands in the future. Want a Balenciaga bag? Just print it, until you can afford the real thing. The ways brand affinity can grow just multiplied.