This past Spring, Kathie and I traveled to Chicago to see some good friends who had recently moved. It was a great time of catching up, good food, and a musical thrown in for good measure. One night after dinner we were back at their apartment where they introduced us to the game Cards Against Humanity. (Here’s a link to their Facebook page and Kickstarter page, since their website seems to be down right now.) If you’re not familiar, it’s basically a grown-up, not-safe-for-children version of Apples to Apples. It’s not for the faint of heart, either and definitely a game for people who know one another. We had heard about it before, but never experienced it. So we played. And we laughed so hard that my stomach was sore the next day.
Of course, when we got back to Austin, I ordered it along with all the expansion packs. And recently we introduced the game to another couple who had never played. And, again, we all laughed until we cried. But I noticed something this time around: Kathie and I got even more joy out of seeing them read and play their cards for the first time than we got out of playing the game this time. It reminded us of what it was like the first time we played, which I’m sure was fun for our friends in Chicago when we discovered the game.
Here’s my point: Since I’ve previously experienced it, I know what’s coming. But what makes it fun for me is to watch someone else experience it for the first time. In other words, I delight in their surprise and delight.
There’s a word of mouth lesson here. my friends. The surprise and delight experience doesn’t stop when someone tells others about what happened to them. The next level is, in fact, wanting others to experience it firsthand because of your suggestion and then watching them being surprised and delighted. It’s more than “look what happened to me.” It’s “This cool thing happened to me and I want it you to experience it, too” because (maybe a little selfishly), you’re going to thank me.
So as we venture out there in the world creating content for our companies, yes, surprise and delight is great. But how can we package those experiences so our customers can be the ones delighting in other’s delight? How can we build in triggers that not only make people want to tell others about it, but make them want other people to experience it? It’s something to chew on.