The Secret of Surprise and Delight Marketing

Molly Neises, Sales

As part of the promotional products industry, we consistently hear the words “Surprise and Delight”.  It’s popping up more and more at the center of marketing discussions.

But when was the last time we took a moment to think about what that means?  I know what I think, but I wanted a broader definition.  So, I did some digging amongst resources both in and out of the promo industry.  Let’s take a look at some of what makes up the Surprise and Delight approach:

  • CMO.com (Adobe’s marketing site), references the “idea that it’s smart for a business to introduce experiences that slide the dial from “mundane” to “awesome” makes perfect sense, whether it’s in the form of a promotion or a streamlined way to interact or transact.”
  • And according to marketing website CMSWire.com,  “Surprise and delight marketing is a marketing strategy that aims to attract and nurture consumer relations by providing unexpected rewards. It is designed to increase customer loyalty and engagement…”
  • One distributor said, “Unexpected or unanticipated happiness.” They related it to Maple Ridge Farms by adding, “Like, receiving a scoop and knowing I can order my own pint of ice cream to go with it.”
  • And one supplier shared, “Providing another human with a product or experience that comes at an unexpected time or is incredibly unique in nature AND creates such a pleasant memory that the surprise-r and the overall experience is thought of fondly when recollected.”  Or more simply stated… “When someone does something unexpectedly for someone else that makes them feel all warm and fuzzy.”

Surprise and Delight marketing can also foster brand awareness by providing things that customers want to tell friends, colleagues and other connections about - making the customer feel valued and prompting them to share (often on social media). 

An oft-overlooked element is applying the same approach to your own company employees.  When you Surprise and Delight your employees, they are likely to be more enthusiastic brand advocates.

It’s important to remember that Surprise and Delight does not have to be overly complicated or expensive financially.  It might take the form of a handwritten thank-you note to a long-time loyal customer.  Or, on the other side of the coin, it could be quick phone call to reconnect with a contact that has been out touch.

The key is to develop an idea and delivery that stands out.  Some of the best moments are provided to a recipient who is not expecting anything… a gift without strings attached! 

My definition… Something that knocks around and disrupts the norm of the recipient’s day.  Something so unexpected, they step back and say, “Wow!”  Personally, I love that gourmet gifts have a built-in Surprise and Delight factor.  It’s one that is tied directly to the recipient’s emotional and sensory receptors. and they do it deliciously!

As Jodie, one of our key team members, said when asked for her definition… “Maple Ridge Farms!  We are Surprise and Delight!”  I think that says it all!

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