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Virtual Pins or Actual Pins: I Know Which I’d Prefer a Resort to Pass Out

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It’s not exactly an even comparison, but it’s a comparison nonetheless.

On the one hand, EpicMix rewards skiers and boarders with pins when you reach certain levels or accomplisments. For example, if you ride every lift at resort X in one day, you may get the Beaver Creek Conquerer pin (unless of course, the gantries fail to scan you on one ride, not that I’d know).

On the other, are real, actual pins, attached to freebies and deals passed out randomly to guests: no mile-long traverses required. Like this:

Virtual pins are free to distribute and release a small amount of dopamine.

Real pins (plus a freebie) cost something to distrbiute but likely trigger a larger response from the recipient.

Get People Talking
As I’ve said before, EpicMix isn’t an app, it’s a content factory designed to get people to share their skiing experience. And it does. Thought I don’t know the numbers exactly, I’d guess most of these shares are automated which may decrease the authenticity.

In the other boat are things that are so surprising, so fun, and so “neat”, that people can’t help but talk. This is the category I’d place these buttons in. Similar to Bristol’s “Random Acts of Kindness” promotion, they provide an experience that, when quickly calculated in the recipients head, doesn’t make financial sense for the resort which increases the cool factor.

It’s a tradeoff: virtual is free but less “I’ve gotta tell me friends about this” worthy. Real costs, but carries a greater possibility of spreading. I don’t see a right or wrong, but if my EpicMix pins earned me real-world benefits, I may think differently.

  • AK

    I may be alone in this, but anything that automatically shares on my behalf, even if I authorized it some time in the past, worries me.

    As Newtown, Connecticut was unfolding in real time and taking over the internet, a group of top executives from a certain ski corp were out busily accumulating and tweeting about all the great pins they were winning, of course having no knowledge of the national tragedy their pin collecting was happening alongside.

    Maybe these apps are fine for everyone except those in the spotlight who need to have a greater level of care taken in their sharing.

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