So I have been using the Bawte app for more than two weeks now. I have tagged a lot and seen a lot of tags fly by on my activity lists. I am starting to notice some trends amongst the early Bawte users, as well as some benefits the application provides that I hadn’t envisioned initially. First, the trends...
People like to tag the “fun” stuff. Yeah, I see facial tissue and toothpaste occasionally. However those utilitarian items will probably never make it on the Popular list! But the fun stuff? The special treats (candy and chips), the exciting purchases (the new grill and the widescreen television), and the celebratory items (alcohol) seem to appear frequently on my Bawte activity lists. I have previously speculated what it is about humanity that makes us want to share these things and I can only surmise that, based on the types of items being shared, that we like to share the fun stuff because it makes us seem fun and lets others know how much fun we are having. Social media is capturing the stories of our lives. So when we tag that bag of licorice before we head out on a road trip or that case of beer before a birthday party, our friends and family will not only know what we bawte, but more importantly, what a good time we are having.
I have also noticed that people drink a lot of fountain pop! Wow! The Kum & Go promotion hasn’t even been officially announced yet, signage doesn’t yet tell the Kum & Go customer what they get for scanning the Bawte tag on their fountain drink, yet hundreds of scans per day tell us that people are buying a lot of fountain drinks at Kum & Go. Eventually the details of the Kum & Go promotion will be made available to the consumer. But until then, smart phones everywhere are scanning plastic cups full of beverages at Kum & Go and no one is really sure why. But it’s clear the consumer is excited and eager to participate.
Bawte is fun, but it also provides a benefit to the user. This is both a trend and a benefit I hadn’t initially envisioned. On one of the first days I used Bawte, I tagged a package of bratwurst. Bratwurst is quintessential summer and I wanted to celebrate the dawn of the new season. Apparently, everyone else wanted to send that message as well! This particular brat sat atop the Recent and Popular activity lists for several days. Now I don’t consider myself much of a trend setter, but I do believe that my tag served as a reminder: Hey, it’s summer…doesn’t a bratwurst sound delicious? Bawte has the ability to encourage future purchases with the simple scan of the phone.
It also can be a source of helpful information. Just as I now turn to Twitter if I want the latest news (crazy, I know), I can turn to Bawte to provide helpful tips. A fellow runner and Bawte friend tagged an anti-chafing cream last weekend and commented that it was for his feet. I had just completed a long run and the soles of my feet were burning. I hadn’t realized until that moment that the cream worked on feet as well as the rest of the body. I subsequently thanked my friend and ran to the store to get some of the cream myself. Clearly Bawte isn’t only going to suggest to us the things we want, but truly can become a source of the things we need.
So just a few short weeks into the Bawte experience, I am enjoying the act of tagging the items I bawte or the items I want. I get to share yet another angle of my life story with my online community. But more surprisingly, I am enjoying the social aspect of Bawte that provides me with sometimes fun or sometimes practical suggestions about purchases I haven’t made but am suddenly realizing I need to.