The future of marketing is ‘Experience.’

Last week I was taking some time out during a conference, and stumbled across the ‘Suncorp Discovery Store’ in Pitt Street Mall. I sheepishly peeped inside, not sure where or what I was entering, to be greeted just inside the door by the ‘customer experience’ chap.

The circular yellow light entrance and colourful eye-catching windows lured me in – it was almost a 21st century ‘Alice in Wonderland’ moment but not ‘eat me’ or ‘drink me,’ but ‘discover me!’

As it turns out I could drink, my aching feet (should not have worn those skin splicing sandals), barely touched the gleaming floors, and I was offered a complimentary coffee!  Who could resist!

Sipping on my skim flat white, I took a look at the wall of fame, displaying the Suncorp family of brands, and instantly recognised two; Resilium and Shannons, turns out I am a Suncorp customer! (and they are a Queensland company too – loves me a bit of supporting Aussie brands!)

The Customer Experience chap, welcomed me to the Suncorp family, I confess I felt a little teeny bit elated by this discovery! I am one of those who desperately needs some financial planning sprucing, my ducks are meandering somewhat, mostly because I am not a fan of the finplan model or marketing methods of this sector, which leave me feeling a teeny bit queasy…But here I am part of a family whose products I already use and value, sipping lattes and chatting easily about my finances and future!

As a marketer who regularly writes about customer experience and marketing strategy, I know that brands who are able to think of their customers as people, and sales as an opportunity to create value will be the winners in the new economy. I believe that in a world of chatbots and AI, real human connections, conversations and experiences will create loyalty and advocacy and build genuine brand connection.

I know that my relationship with Suncorp did not end when I left the store, with my free coffee in one hand, and financial planner diary in the other…no my Suncorp journey is just beginning…

The question is can they deliver this positive experience across all their brands and touchpoints???

–  I’ll let you know!

What about you? Had any positive customer experiences lately?

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