I've been pondering the power of Surprise Marketing for about a decade.
I've been gathering relevant and powerful examples of the subject for five years.
I've been blogging about it for two-and-a-half of 'em.
Over the past year, I've written a book on the subject, and put together quite the entertaining stage presentation to accompany it.
And now, it looks like I've found a kindred spirit.
His name is Joseph Ferrara, and about a week ago in his provocative, prolific and often profound real-estate blog Sellsius, he laid down a post that captured and summarized the essence of Surprise Marketing in the most efficient manner I've seen outside the confines of Surprise Central. You can read it in its entirety by clicking here.
Although I'm flattered by his citation of yours truly within it, and enjoyed some of the examples he used (particularly that of Roy Flora of Microtel Inns), the true revelation was an academic paper called "Taking Relationship Marketing for a Joyride: The Emotion of Surprise as a Competitive Marketing Tool" by Joelle Vanhamme, Adam Lindgreen and Prof. Roderick J. Brodie he pointed to; the first I've seen that corroborates (and vindicates) some of the theories and concepts I've been advocating for years. For example, these excerpts:
"Merely satisfying customers is not enough, businesses need to delight their customers...it has been suggested that positive surprise is a necessary condition for customer delight and that customer delight translates into higher customer retention levels."
"Literature in psychology suggests that customer delight is a second-order emotion resulting from a combination of two first-order emotions, namely surprise and joy (Plutchik 1980). According to these findings, positive surprise might thus play an important role in customers' satisfaction and ultimately customer retention."
"Despite the widespread attention businesses have paid to positively surprising their customers, the possible correlation between positive surprise and customer delight has received only little attention in the (business and academic) literature."
Well, it has received only little attention...until now.
The dawn of a new era. We hope.