Happiness from a Soda Fountain: How Are Happy Experiences Helping Your Business?

Extreme happiness isn’t something you find everyday, but start clicking on YouTube videos about the Coca-Cola Freestyle and that’s what you get. This is an example of the type of […]

Extreme happiness isn’t something you find everyday, but start clicking on YouTube videos about the Coca-Cola Freestyle and that’s what you get. This is an example of the type of joy and excitement even one machine can create in an environment if the experience is meaningful, easy to use and executed well.

Why aren’t more businesses creating moments of happiness through their experiences? A recent study by Harris Interactive shows that “60% of consumers will always pay more for a better experience.”

Watch the video, and I’ll give you my take below.

Opening a world of flavor up for consumers, the Coca-Cola Freestyle can dispense 106 different flavors. As someone who drinks more water and zero calorie beverages, I have gone from a typical two options (plain water and Diet Coke) to having a ton. I may not be quite like the guys in the video, but I am pretty happy too.

While Freestyle is causing a lot of excitement, the consumer proposition is simple: 1) Give consumers more beverage choices. 2) Make it easy for them to select their favorite beverage or try something new. 3) Make sure the taste is fantastic no matter what flavor is poured before mine.

Though I haven’t seen any YouTube videos from business owners expressing their joy for Freestyle, I can imagine they’re at least smiling. (Note: If you’re reading this and at a business with a Freestyle, I would love you to post a video for us to share.)

From a business point-of-view, the ROI stays simple: Give consumers more choices and they will be happier. Plus, some people drinking tap water will probably buy a beverage now that they have more choices. Research shows that a better customer experience leads to more sales now and more return customers later.

Here’s the kicker: More companies may not be doing this because things like simplicity and happiness take a lot of expertise to pull off. The Freestyle may look simple, but the technology and ease of use take time and money to make happen.

The good news: The returns are big. There are people who do know how to make experiences better and understand the people, business and technology factors that play a role in making it happen.

That said, with a potential to grow (see right side of chart below) and the beginnings of economic recovery, more and more companies across industries like retail, finance and healthcare are realizing that the consumer experience is the core differentiator they have got to take advantage of right now. If they don’t, they move from growth opportunity to downward spiral (see left side of chart in red).

Coca-Cola Freestyle and all the happy experiences it is generating takes a lot of time and effort to make happen. Just to scratch the surface, it pulls together some amazing technological innovations, uses Coca-Cola’s new design language (that makes equipment just a little more friendly and engaging), and has a unique user interface that works seamlessly between ice lever, touchscreen and the pour button. All of this works really well together, is easy to understand and simple to use.

Getting back to happiness in restaurants, even of the fast food variety, will continue to transform the industry. How will a better experience make a difference for you?

Here’s one more video of a happy customer, but search YouTube for yourself and see what kind of laughter, giddiness and dancing you find.