On Delight

Brands are built by consistently delivering on a promise to customers through every experience that customer has with the brand. Consistency is everything.

But the other side of consistency is delight. Surprising customers and making them smile.

That feeling when you find the Tim Tam in your Adore Beauty order for the first time:


When you discover the Emergency Roll in your Who Gives A Crap order:


Or when you get your Up card in the post:


Often my favourite moments of delight are in the microcopy…

Muzzle is a chrome extension to block pop-ups when you’re screen sharing. Their website is a stream of hilarious pop-ups:


This is what Hipmunk has to say to users trying to book a hotel for more than their maximum available period:


Sometimes that surprise and delight can come from the most unexpected places. Bare Cremation is an Australian startup giving families a simple, transparent way to prepay for funerals online. They interact with customers at the most painful and vulnerable moments in their lives and allocate budget for providing moments of empathy to help make their customer’s lives just that little bit easier during their darkest times.

When I asked one of the founders, Sam, for a story of one of these moments, he sent this (names changed for privacy):

Jane’s husband passed away. She broke her arm the same week he died. In a phone call Sophie was having with Jane she sounded very down, she told Sophie about her broken arm and that she was feeling very lonely. Sophie told me about this. We decided to help her in some way and that 2 weeks of ready made meals would be perfect for someone alone who had a broken arm. I rang her the day the delivery was due and told her something would be arriving for her that day. Funny thing was when they turned up she sent them away telling them they had the wrong address...I told them to go back....she rang me in uncontrollable tears, so shocked that someone would do something like that for her.

If you’re anything like me, you just fell in love with this company.

When a brand makes me smile, I automatically develop an emotional connection. So I love meeting founders who bake this into their product design from the very beginning.

Send me through your favourite delightful product moments, I’d love to see them!

Links for the weekend:

Another spectacular resource from the 80,000 Hours team.


Chuck Feeney, the founder of airport retailer Duty Free Shoppers and PE fund General Atlantic, donated over $8bn anonymously, keeping only $2m for himself and his wife’s retirement.

“I see little reason to delay giving when so much good can be achieved through supporting worthwhile causes. Besides, it’s a lot more fun to give while you live than give while you're dead.”


The unexpected story of the Royal Enfield motorcycle.


September 4th 2020