Better Than Best: the Problem of Delight


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What do Innovation, Design Thinking, and Marketing have in common with Romance, Missions, and Awesome Restaurants? All aim to give a newcomer more than they thought they wanted.

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Better Than Best: the Problem of Delight

  1. 1. Better than Best The Problem of Delight An Archestra notebook. © 2013 Malcolm Ryder / archestra research
  2. 2. Better than Best The essence of delight is that it is extraordinary. Ordinary is not the same for everyone. People have their own idea of what is ordinary or not, although they may be aware of what others think is ordinary. We forget that most of the time what people say they want is likely something less than what is actually their “ideal”, because normally their expectations are the boundary within which they think. In fact, because of that, their idea of the ideal is often far less defined than is “the best that they expect”. When expectations are shared, there is consistency in noticing when things are extraordinary. But more importantly, for any given party, regardless of other parties, there is even consistency in how things go from being ordinary to extra.
  3. 3. What Is Experienced Increasing Fit For Purpose Increasing Perceived Quality Compatible Appropriate Exciting Surprising DELIGHTFUL unusual special satisfying Competitive INTERESTING normal atypical typical Qualified ORDINARY The path to “delight” is about why something is extra-ordinary. Quality and purpose are key factors; but more than anything else, the reason is about how something compares to circumstances at the time. © 2013 Malcolm Ryder / archestra Usually the sense of delight lies beyond what we will already say is good enough. This is because we gauge what we’re offered against what is already familiar in practice or in other source of awareness. In a fuzzy kind of way, we sense the difference between ordinary and anything more, and usually we don’t need to get specific about it unless we’re solving a problem. But we can think in “solution” terms like quality and purpose…
  4. 4. Saying What We Mean As available versus Circumstance Compatible Usable, but Is this all? Surprising (It’s a good fit for me now, as is) (This changes me, enjoyably) Appreciated Desired Ideal Accepted Endorsed Preferred Required Recommended Intended (vs. need) Competitive (vs. risk) Qualified (vs. definition) Expectations versus circumstances consistently frame the experience of delight, as well as the range of other typical evaluations that are lesser than delight and somewhat predictably so. © 2013 Malcolm Ryder / archestra Appealing, but What’s the catch? As available versus Expectations Charming, but Is this hype? Exciting (I may need to change it or change myself, a bit) Pros vs. Cons Appropriate
  5. 5. Why don’t customers know that your offering is delightful, anyway? • Preference is not enough • Delight is circumstantial • If the customer is not already in the right circumstance to be delighted, then either you’ll have to create the circumstance around them, or you’ll have to move them into the circumstance • Delight changes the way the customer feels about themselves • Delight is not a degree of something else; it is something on its own that can come (i.e. be provided) in very small quantity, very large, or somewhere in between