Unexpected experiences are platforms for building stronger relationships.
What does Dollar Shave Club, Slack, and Cards Against Humanity have in common?
They have a knack for creating experiences in unique places.
The drive to create experiences in unexpected places gives brands the unique ability to build a relationship with people — even when they don’t take action.
If you’re on Dollar Shave Club’s email list (Yes, I have a beard. It’s market research.) Then you undoubtably know the cheekiness (pun intended) of their emails. While they’re selling you razors, they’re also selling you on their magnanimousness.
Slack takes advantage of a completely different, and entirely unexpected, kind of opportunity — the app’s release notes. Each item is explained with a touch of humor.
“Thankfully for those in need of a second (or 8th) opinion, inviting a user to a channel after @mentioning them is quicker than ever.”
“Fixed: We previously offered a meditative glimpse into a void after tapping a link to a deleted file, with a screen of purest white. It was an interesting moment of existential reflection but not a very good user experience, so we nixed it.”
Cards Against Humanity once released a promotional video that was a nerdy nod to the movie ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ for… a big black box to hold all your cards.
While there were a number of surprises contained within the purchase of this ‘Bigger Blacker Box’ — there was one that was rather challenging to discover. They sealed a foil embossed, limited edition card (referencing their most infamous trump card) inside the lid of the box. You literally had to take a knife to the lid to uncover it.
They created an experience and people shared it… fervently.
Brands like these, and smaller ones like Ministry of Supply who I deconstructed in an article, have unlocked the power of experience — in unexpected places.
As my sword swallowing friend Roderick once told me: “[when they’re on the stage], most performers are just an amplified version of themselves.”
With that in mind, from email subscription confirmation messages and whois info to email responses and Facebook comments — I try to make everything an experience.
You might remember this Facebook post from the ‘Jedi Mind Tricks‘ email:
It got a new “comment” the other day and, rather than delete it, I decided to have some fun and make an experience for those who might come across it later.
People expect hard sell marketing emails and Facebook Ads, but they don’t expect passionate responses with irreverent gifs and humorous replies to their compliments.
Whether you’re selling a product or trying to make an impression with new friends, you can create experiences in uncommon places — experiment and be creative.
What’s the most unexpectedly memorable experience a brand has delivered you?