While on my way into work yesterday a smiling girl stepped into my path and handed me a bottle of Tropicana orange juice. The gift was delicious, perfectly timed, and came with a hashtag encouraging me to tweet if I enjoyed it - something I very nearly did, but something distracted me (a ball of yarn maybe), the opportunity passed, and I moved on with my day.
Leaving work 8 hours later, I was enticed away from my normal route by a beautiful, warm glow coming from Trafalgar Square. There was a large ball of light suspended in mid-air (well, hanging from a large crane) next to Nelson’s Column: a mini-sun in the dark depths of the London winter, tempting people to spend a few minutes basking in its glow before heading home.
Turns out it was commissioned by Tropicana. After giving us all a lovely gift in the morning, Tropicana was drumming its brand into our collective subconscious via the medium of a beautiful experience. Finally I took a photo and tweeted; as did many others.
The moral of the story? Surprise people with beautiful things and they will share them.
But what can the average company learn from this? Well… while relocating the Sun to central London may be outside the means of most companies, creating beautiful, compelling experiences for their customers is not - and if companies can do that regularly they can convert their customers into advocates and rapidly increase the value social media adds to their business.
Just ask Volkswagen, Old Spice, or Blendtec!
UPDATE: Tropicana have posted this video to YouTube...