Faced with an increasingly controlled and constrained marketplace, many consumers are seeking opportunities to experience unplanned, surprising or serendipitous moments. The recent trend of consumers seeking serendipity in both their online and offline lives is intensifying—and it’s only set to grow in the coming years as sensors replace screens and occasions increasingly become the area for marketers to focus upon and own. Opportunities to connect with consumers will only expand in these “discovery spaces.” Brands that innovate and blaze a trail of new, unplanned and sometimes surprising experiences will be set for success in the years ahead.
Two brands doing just that are Panera Bread and Heineken. Panera Bread promises users of its loyalty card that it will “…do our best to reward you with surprises based on what you love.” The restaurant periodically provides its customers with free food and drinks based on their prior purchasing behavior. Heineken recently offered the ultimate serendipitous experience by giving travelers at JFK airport the chance to play “departure roulette.” Participants who played committed to traveling to an exotic location –without knowing where they were going in advance.
Source: The Rise of Serendipity. (December 2013). The Futures Company.