What A Social Media Case Study Can Look Like

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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 πŸ˜‰ And, because of the movie, there does seem to be a new interest in travel, efficiency and gadgetry to get through the clutter.

What next?

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?


  1. Thanks for the write up and the continuation of this conversation. I’m extra happy that you talked about the other accessories you like. I wasn’t sure which size of the pack-it was right for this bag, but now I know and I ordered one because it sounds like a great idea.

  2. It was wonderful to watch this unfold – from Brogan’s post, to CC’s post, and even just the response from CC, yourself, and a couple others for mentioning the post itself.
    As CC said, this stuff goes on far more often than we realize, no matter how much monitoring we do. It’s nice to have such a visible, quick-rising case study to turn into an example.

  3. I don’t come to your site or Brogan’s for luggage advice, but I have to say that I went straight to REI and used my 20% off members coupon today and picked up the suitcase. I love it and I appreciate the advice. Now I’m going to have to go back and buy the folder thingy. You’re right, this is a great social media case study.
    Thanks for the help.
    Lee Rosen

  4. I love to see how video and social media are partners. A simple video, no fancy production quality… A real person sharing their real brand experience. Its all about content, a good real story and connecting with others.

  5. Just seeing this post makes me want to get that tarmac πŸ™‚ Even though I took half the luggage of any of the 9 people I went to Cancun with recently, my luggage was pretty beat up from years of travel, and this likely will be my next one πŸ™‚
    Do you feel the 22 is a perfect size or do you sometimes need the extra space of the 25 or the more compact size of the 20?

  6. Kind of funny to see it take a luggage turn here hahaha. Some good ‘carry’ advice can be found over http://www.carryology.com /// FYI, it’s a site i work on…
    and I can’t agree more with this statement > 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 <
    i work in a very niche industry (surf) and we are forever arguing over quality vs quantity in terms of the people we are hitting. I believe it’s quality not quantity that can have the strongest effect for you brand.. better to hit someone that is acutely interested in what the brand is doing rather then someone is just passing by…
    more chance of flow on happening then…

  7. Great post Mitch. Eagle Creek has amazing products. If anyone is looking for an ideal shoulder bag for travel – this is a great product. It holds everything and keeps it so organized. I don’t know how Eagle Creek does it – but in this bag, I have room for everything I had in my purse (that was the same size), and I can easily add in whatever book I am reading, and still have room for more.
    Based on this post and Chris Brogan’s demonstration, I am definitely going to check out more products from Eagle Creek.

  8. Mitch,
    Great stuff here as usual, big fan of Media Hacks. Trick I just told Brogan was to pack each shirt, using drycleaning bags and nothing gets wrinkled-lots of years of packing here.
    Keep up the great work.

  9. Hi Mitch,
    Proof that what goes online stays online. It’s over one year from the time that this event with Eagle Creek happend and I’m using your case study as an example of how not to use social media for business.

  10. I think Eagle Creek does a great job in Social Media and I never said that they were an example of how not to use it. My comment was that it could do other things in other areas, but they are active, present and doing better than most. I’m also a huge brand ambassador for them. I love their products… always.

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