Last night, a friend described why her husband loves Netflix. She goes, "He's just one of those consumers. He needs to shop, to get new things all the time." So why Netflix? "It's a surprise in every box. He doesn't remember which movies he queued, so when they come in the mail it feels like someone surprised him with his favorite movie. He's like, 'How did they know?'"
Whoa. This is a powerfully positive feeling. And all they're doing is gathering his preferences, waiting until he forgets, and then "surprising" him with his own choices. How can retailers use their knowledge of their customers to create this same surprise? We would all be walking into The Gap and saying "Wow, how did that salesgirl know I love sweater vests?" And that is borderline magical. I hope to see more of it in the future.