Innovation That Matters

Travel company invites clients on planning trips

Travel & Tourism

It’s no longer unusual for smart companies to involve their customers in the design of new products—that, after all, is how many of the benefits of crowdsourcing are realized. One we hadn’t seen until recently, however, was a travel company that not only solicits past customers’ input when it plans new trips, it actually invites them to come along and help refine them before it offers the trips to the public at large. Based in Madrid, YokmoK is an adventure travel company that leads expeditions of varying lengths, types and difficulty levels in Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy, Morocco and Nepal. Always planning new trips, the company has now begun actively involving past clients in their creation. Specifically, once the research has been completed for a planned new trip, YokmoK conducts what it calls an exploration trip with past customers to try it out collectively. As they travel, YokmoK’s leaders and participants all take an active role in discussing possible itineraries, daily schedules and ways to make the trip more interesting, refining it as a group to create the best possible experience. In exchange for their effort and flexibility during the unpredictable bumps along the way, participants are offered a reduced price. The resulting trip itinerary, meanwhile, is what gets offered to the public the following year. YokmoK aims to conduct one exploration trip every 12 to 18 months; the next one, planned for this month, will explore the Swedish Lapland with a 7-day snowshoe trek through the wild terrain of the Kungsleden trail. YokmoK’s exploration trips program is part of its “ambassador” system, through which it also gives repeat customers a 5 percent discount for each new customer they recruit. So, in addition to giving YokmoK early insight into new offerings and a better chance of success, the trips also serve as an extra perk for its ambassadors, offering them a few status stories and an exclusive experience. What incentives can your brand offer to keep customers spreading the word and coming back for more…? (Related: Consumers get paid for input on new productsHotel perks for Mercedes drivers.) Spotted by: Raul Vigas



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