Success in Social Media can come from anyone and anywhere. Just take a look at what happened today...
During our recent co-book tour (Bring Trust Agents And Six Pixels Of Separation To Your Community), I was watching Chris Brogan (who co-authored the best-selling business book, Trust Agents, with Julien Smith) grapple with his carry-on luggage. For one, the bag simply wasn't all that functional, and it also had a tendency to topple over on a whim (Brogan joking referred to his carry-on bag as a Macbook catapult). Beyond that, Brogan (like me) logs a ton of miles on planes, trains and automobiles, so having the right carry-on is critical to making life survivable as a road warrior.
Being the travel nerd that I am...
I referred Chris to my personal choice when it comes to superior carry-on luggage: the Eagle Creek Tarmac 22. I've had all kinds (from Samsonite and Travelpro to Tumi and Briggs & Riley), and the Eagle Creek Tarmac 22 hits every single important aspect of what a real carry-on piece of luggage should have.
What happened next really brings the power of Social Media to life.
Brogan did this video review of his brand new Eagle Creek Tarmac 22 bag: My New Carry-On Eagle Creek Tarmac 22.
From there the Blog comments started to flow (check them out), and then the conversation took over on Twitter and Facebook. More than a few people stated outright that they had purchased the carry-on luggage based solely on Brogan's video review. C.C. Chapman (co-host of Media Hacks and the guy behind, Managing The Gray, etc...) not only purchased the bag, but also wrote this Blog post: Why You Can't Measure ALL Social Media.
Social Media is a scalable, distributable and steroid-enabled version of word of mouth marketing.
Too many brands focus on how many people they are putting their message in front of, and not who they are putting their message in front of. For those keeping score at home, really great Marketers and brilliant brands don't focus on the "how many" but rather on the "who". These kinds of stories happen each and every day. C.C. asks the right question: is this all being measured? Can you even measure this?
Great products do get great reactions. Period.
I do love my Eagle Creek Tarmac 22. So much so, that I am happy to help out other travellers who struggle with the wrong kinds of carry-on - without Eagle Creek paying me and without any form of compensation (I don't have affiliate links). Great brands do illicit that type of reaction. In fact, after viewing Brogan's demo of the Eagle Creek Tarmac 22, I feel compelled to add some additional/important thoughts that can/should be known about the Eagle Creek Tarmac 22.
For all of the travel nerds in the house...
Get yourself the Pack-It Folder (18") also from Eagle Creek. This contraption allows you to perfectly fold and pack about 12-15 dress shirts (and a dress jacket) and you can compress it down to next to nothing. After that, you can wrap two pairs of pants around it and just place it in the main compartment. Use the other side (interior big zipper compartment) to store all rolled-up socks, undershirts and underwear (rolling them saves tons of space). I use the top pocket (interior) for my toiletries (sans liquid) and extra cables. I use the exterior pocket (big one) for my liquids and I use the small exterior pocket for all of the stuff I keep in my pockets during security and check-in.
To answer some of the more common questions about carry-on luggage: yes, the extendable arm is more than tall enough. The bag itself itself is super-durable and comes with what Eagle Creek calls their "No Matter What Damage Repair Policy." Additional coolness: I purchased the Eagle Creek toiletry bag too because it's light and soft with no firm pieces, so it doesn't pack "boxy" and you can squish it in there.
Size matters. Weight matters more.
Probably the most important factor that Brogan never mentions in his video review of the Eagle Creek Tarmac 22 is this: the bag only weighs 8 lbs. To put that into perspective, my previous bag (a super-fancy Tumi carry-on) weighed 14 lbs empty. While this may not sound like a big deal, airlines (sometimes) weigh carry-on (Europe has a maximum of 22 lbs per carry-on and they tend to weigh everything), so having the lightness of the Eagle Creek also allows you to pack much more. Most people are shocked to learn that I use this carry-on for trips up to 10 days (no exaggeration). Another key component: no need to ever really check baggage again (this saves tons of time at the airport and your luggage is never lost/stolen). If you've seen the latest George Clooney movie, Up In The Air, you would already know this ;) And, because of the movie, there does seem to be a new interest in travel, efficiency and gadgetry to get through the clutter.
Check out Brogan's video, read C.C.'s Blog post, check out the comments, and then do a little Twitter search on the people mentioned and the Eagle Creek brand. That is the power of Social Media and it tells a very interesting story. Few brands really spend the time they should to connect and learn more about why people buy from them.
How many stories like this do you think brands miss every single day?
Any great travel tips or gadgets you would like to share?