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How Big Brands Delight CustomersBig brands don’t start out as big brands. They become that way because they do one thing a little differently than their competitors – customer delight

And it’s not always about free stuff (even though it sometimes is). It’s more about capturing customers’ hearts & minds and resonating with something near & dear to them.

So let’s take a deeper look into how big brands go above and beyond in often unexpected ways to delight their customers.

By Respecting Their Customers’ Time

In today’s fast paced world, no one has time for long-winded sales pitches and complicated websites that you have to dig through just to turn up the answers you need. People face challenges and problems that they want solved as quickly and as painlessly as possibly. And with information on every topic imaginable literally available at your fingertips, attention spans are dramatically limited, and that means your brand’s message needs to get the point quickly to be seen through the clutter.

Dropbox is a perfect example of a brand that understands its customers’ “need for speed”, and has carefully crafted their marketing message around that very principle:

“Your stuff, anywhere.”

No rhetoric, no lengthy mumbo jumbo or confusing language.  Instead, they’re speaking directly to their customers’ need for unlimited access to their documents.

And not only that, but DropBox integrates with other services, including Microsoft, Adobe, Dell, Salesforce, Airwatch, and DocuSign so  your documents aren’t just anywhere, but also super easy to get to. And they convey all of that in just three words. 

By Showing Heart

People are emotional creatures; we trust our guts, follow our hearts, and feel things “in our bones”. And it’s marketing mastermind David Ogilvy who so aptly said that the best way to market is to play on peoples’ emotions.

After all, we don’t buy expensive cars because they have four-wheel anti-lock brakes and the highest rated horsepower in the industry. We buy them because of how they make us feel: powerful, wealthy, rugged, protected, the list goes on and on. Because our cars are not merely a vehicle to get us from point a to point b; they are a representation and extension of ourselves.

And that’s exactly how we delight: by capturing our customers’ hearts so that every time they think of us they feel good.

Southwest Airlines is an excellent example of this. Back in 2011, a pilot delayed a flight so that a passenger could see his dying two-year-old grandson, saying about his fellow crew mates: “They can’t leave without me and I’m not leaving without you.”

Talk about taking customer service to new heights!

By Adding an Element of Surprise  

Some of life’s most delightful moments are those that come as a surprise – surprise birthdays, unplanned visits from friends, marriage proposals, and more.

Credit card giant MasterCard has capitalized on this in a major way with their “Priceless Surprises” campaign focused on surprising and delighting their cardholders when they least expect it.

The campaign started out on social media, where MasterCard would dole out spontaneous prizes to their members, including exclusive concert tickets, celebrity meetings, and VIP tickets to the Grammy’s.

They then took it one step further and developed a mobile app to further connect their brand with their customer base. By pairing up with some of their big partners such as Staples and Citibank, they were able to offer even bigger and better surprises and experiences for their customers.

By Over-Delivering

In marketing, it’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver than the other way around.

Blue Apron used this principle to their advantage with their website’s newsletter sign-up. Contacts provide their email address in exchange for what they believe is a weekly newsletter where they’ll receive a new recipe every week.

What they don’t know is that Blue Apron will actually give them not just one, but two free meals – just by providing their email address!  Subscribers are immediately greeted with this delicious surprise as soon as they sign up.

So rather than using the free meals to get more sign-ups, Blue Apron chose to make them a surprise, and as a result, delighted their customers even more. Because the only thing better than free things are free things that you weren’t expecting. 

So if you’re looking to follow in the footsteps of some of the big brands and start delighting your customers, start by listening to their needs, captivating their hearts, and always keep them surprised. The results could surprise you! 

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