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How businesses are surprising and delighting their customers

Welcome to Natalie’s Blog…

(This blog follows Part 1: ‘Surprising and delighting your customers is rewarding’)

In my last blog we started to explore how ‘Surprise & Delight’ marketing and sales campaigns are becoming hugely popular with brands, business and their customers because everybody wins!

What do I mean by ‘Surprise’ in a business marketing context? It is the feeling caused by something unexpected happening… it inspires an emotional response in customers and an emotional response means engagement, attention, meaning.

The trick is to then combine ‘Surprise’ with great pleasure, satisfaction or happiness (’Delight’) to give you the winning formula!

‘Surprise & Delight’ campaigns can range from creating unforgettable, miraculous experiences to giving unexpected gifts to customers.

As numerous studies have shown, the result can be positive association, a desire to share with others, endorsement, loyalty, recommendation and a wish to experience the sensation again.

One example of this approach I really like is MasterCard’s ‘Priceless Surprises!’ campaign built on the premise “You never know who we’ll surprise next!” and an invitation to the public to “Find out how you can get a surprise of your own”.

I can’t help admiring how well the MasterCard promotion has been executed. It is open to all with no purchase necessary, it has a dedicated website ( and a hashtag (#PricelessSurprises) …and in a smart extension to the campaign MasterCard have also encouraged the public to surprise someone else too!

Very cleverly MasterCard have invited the public to “…send a Priceless Surprise to a friend, colleague, or loved one” proclaiming “…it’s easy to send a gift with Yiftee!”, thus massively increasing the original campaign’s reach and impact.

Another example of a successful ‘Surprise & Delight’ marketing initiative which caught my attention is Bud Light’s ‘Up for Whatever’ campaign inspiring millions of consumers to engage with the Bud Light brand in a positive and light-hearted way …and then encouraging sharing of those experiences across social media.

The Bud Light campaign connects Bud Light fans on social media, treating them to spontaneous gifts and prizes (such as VIP tickets) and giving them the opportunity to meet celebrities with more than 140 different scroll messages intended to encourage brand engagement.

It’s clear to me, both as a business owner myself and a customer, that loyalty schemes or other methods of tracking customer behaviour (such as customer databases) can play an important role in helping to create a ‘Surprise & Delight’ campaign, providing insight into the behaviour of different customers and providing data on when and how often they visit and how much they spend.

This enables appropriate targeting of different types of customers such as bigger spenders or those who have recently lapsed.

Pret A Manager have gone a step further by extending their original staff give-away programme with a ‘Make Someone Smile’ initiative, supplying staff with special coffee cup sleeves printed with a free drink voucher.

Staff add the voucher sleeve to take-away cups before handing them to customers. The sleeves then encourage each Pret A Manager customer to pass on the free drink voucher to a friend or compete stranger and thus ‘make their day’.

With over 100,000 voucher sleeves printed and distributed, this subtle approach to empowering their staff AND customers to be willing ambassadors has generated even more positive word of mouth and customer engagement for Pret A Manager, first ‘Surprising & Delighting’ their customers and then encouraging them to pass on that ‘Surprise & Delight’ to others.

But we don’t all have big budgets and lots of resources! Don’t worry about formal membership schemes, databases or massive give-aways if you are a small business, instead trust your employees by empowering them to serve up little acts of kindness at their discretion.

For example, staff in an independent cafe, bar, restaurant or shop might decide not to charge a customer for a desert or give a free “Thank you” chocolate or sweet.

All business have the freedom to be creative with how they ‘Surprise & Delight’ their customers – how would you do it?

Email me now to tell me what would work for you as a business owner, or to make suggestions on how other business could ‘Surprise & Delight’ you when you buy from them!

In my next blog (Part 3 of 3) I’ll explore some of the creative ways some of our customers use the personalised chocolates and confectionery we supply to them for ‘Surprising & Delighting’ their own customers.

(Natalie’s Blog, 30 June 2017)

DID YOU READ PART 1 OF THIS BLOG?: Part 1: ‘Surprising and delighting your customers is rewarding’

Meet… Natalie Atkinson (Managing Director, Delvaux Ltd)

Natalie is the Managing Director of Delvaux Ltd, a family-owned business originally founded in 1985 by her mother Monique as a division of Rombouts Coffee. Natalie leads the ‘delicious marketing ideas’ team at Delvaux, experts in helping Delvaux’s clients to use personalisation and gifting as ‘edible advertising’.

Since Delvaux’s early days supplying petit fours to Restaurants and Hotels and supplying retailers such as the House of Fraser, Conran and Harvey Nichols with luxury chocolates, glace fruits, nougats and nuts, Delvaux has developed into a thriving independent business supplying personalised chocolates (Neapolitans and Petit Chocs) and confectionery in individual wrappers printed with messaging, logo, special offers and promotions etc.

Delvaux has been in business for over 32 years supplying 1000s of businesses, associations, charities, institutions and individuals with millions of personalised Neapolitan and Petit chocolates over that time. More recently Delvaux has expanded under Natalie’s direction with the addition of Mints, Sweets and Chocolate Orangettes and Chocolate Coffee Beans to the product range.

[If you have any questions please call us on UK freephone 0800 371 428 or International telephone +44 (0) 1932 571180, alternatively please email us at]
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