Where did the use of "delight" as a marketing buzz word originate?
December 18, 2014 9:44 AM   Subscribe

In the last few years I've frequently heard business people and business journalists using the word "delight" in relation to their customers' experiences in a way that makes it sound like a very specific buzz word from a very specific source. Like a marketing book that called out "customer delight" as a key metric or something. Is there a known original vector for this bit of word virus?
posted by Lentrohamsanin to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The phrase originally was "Surprise and Delight" and it was a concept in customer service before it was one in design. The Google N-gram search brings up a lot of usage from books about the auto-industry. I'd guess it came from there, but I'm not sure.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:44 AM on December 18, 2014 [4 favorites]

I've seen it used in the context of "inbound marketing," which I'll loosely define as using digital content and social media to attract people to your website or business, as one of the four stages of the sales ladder. The four stages are:

attract - get people to your website
convert - capture their info or get them to follow you, and work on turning them into customers
close - they've purchased the product or signed up for the service
delight - keep them engaged so they'll come back for more and be a brand ambassador

I wrote this all fairly quickly and am not sure if I have it all completely right, but Google "attract convert close delight," and you'll find lots of content about it.
posted by Leontine at 12:21 PM on December 18, 2014

I agree that "surprise and delight" was the original formulation. I found it started to infuse my industry from the sectors of travel and tourism - amenities - and honestly I think that Celebrity Cruises was one of the early proponents, though I'm going on my memory.
posted by Miko at 12:28 PM on December 18, 2014

The Kano model (based on a Japanese article from 1984) is frequently referred to in the literature.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 12:35 PM on December 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: This is so fascinating: agree, I've definitely heard the "surprise and delight" formulation frequently.

Translations of the Kano model look like at least part of patient zero for this. Unless whoever picked that translation based it on existing usage, of course...
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:38 PM on December 18, 2014

Hmm. Whole Foods has as a part of its preachy business philosophy the phrase "satisfy and delight", ie this is what they endeavour to do for their customers. I've been seeing it a lot lately as well and assumed it had come from there.
posted by kaspen at 1:55 PM on December 18, 2014

« Older 35 Years Ago I Dropped out of College but Now I...   |   I want to wrap presents here and give them in... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.