Surprise and Delight

For someone who only ever seems to talk about travel and the aviation industry, you would wonder what role entertainment would have in our world. Well, actually there is a lot – after all they are still selling a product, just the same as a travel agent, tour operator, hotel, airline or cruise company. It’s about how you grow and nurture your ‘fans’ which will ultimately feed your success.

I have been a ‘fan’ of Delta Goodrem for nearly 13 years, December 2002 to be exact when I saw Born To Try performed on Neighbours for the first time. It was so refreshing at the time to see such an authentic song written and performed, that it was hard not to fall in love with it.

The album of which it came from – Innocent Eyes, was a game changer in Australia, Delta’s homeland. It held position for half the year on the album chart, and had an unprecedented five number one singles form it, making the album one of the highest sold ever in the country. The UK didn’t quite reach that level, but we did have a string on singles within the top ten.

The next album, Mistaken Identity was brought over to the UK once again, and charts her recovery from cancer, a difficult subject to put into a whole album and never had the acclaim the first album did, apart from a duet with partner to be, Brian McFadden. The relationship, which lasted seven years nailed her leave from the UK, and the last performance here was in 2005.

During that time I followed what she was up to, and although I near met her a couple of times in both London and New York, was never able to one thing or another. Shortly afterwards she retreated to the Australian market, also living in LA with her songwriting partner Vince Pizzinga.

Two further albums were released in Australia, and neither did as well as Innocent Eyes. They moved in a slightly different sound, chasing a more electronic and dance inspired theme.

This summer saw the release of a brand new single, Wings, which was written after going on tour with Ricky Martin in Australia. Written with the help of Australian ‘hit makers’ DNA, it was her first number one in Australia in nearly ten years.

So there we are, up to the current day and you might be thinking where is the element of surprise and delight? Well…

It was just ten days ago that I heard Delta could be coming back to the UK. I didn’t know in what capacity, but as she is going to be doing Cats in Australia it would make sense that she would at least come over and see Andrew Lloyd-Webber who wrote the musical… To be honest, I think most of us ‘fans’ who had been there since the beginning had given up hope of any UK performance, so a visit here was certainly a surprise.

Last weekend, it was announced she would be playing G-A-Y in London on Saturday night. The first gig in the UK since 2005, although a rather low key entrance back into the UK scene.

As she arrived, more news trickled out about what was happening over the week, including ‘something’ which would happen on Thursday. Sunday turned into Monday, and it was announced there would be a ‘secret show’ in London and you had to enter for a place via Twitter – talk about ‘delighting’ those remaining loyal UK fans.

Needless to say I got a ticket, and needless to say from the Terms and Conditions that it would be an intimate affair with just 50 pairs up for grabs. When the venue came down you really had to make a double take – it was an art gallery on the Fulham Road, not really what would expect!

Making sure I was there in good time, and with help from people who I met online – I was at the front of the queue. That meant I was at the front in this tiny room. She came on stage at just about 8, and started with a medley of songs not even released in the UK.

Well, that didn’t stop the crowd though who were clearly all fans to start with, and many like me who had been there from the very beginning. Even with songs which weren’t released here everyone was singing every word. The connection was there, even if it was just her with her guitarist Dolce and a drummer.

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Then came some old hits including Born to Try, Innocent Eyes, Not Me Not I and Lost Without You off the Innocent Eyes album, along with new songs You and You Alone and the single Wings.

As a fan you couldn’t have hoped for anything more, an acoustic set in an intimate setting as the return to the UK.

To top the evening off, she came back after the set and met every single one of us, chatting as if you were a long lost friend. We had the opportunity to have photos taken and anything we wanted signed. To be given that amount of time is unprecedented. I later found out that she put the show on herself for the fans – there you go, knowing how to surprise and delight your closest fans to make then even more loyal.

Think about that in business, what can you do to surprise and delight your clients to make them even more loyal to your brand. You might not have had ten years away, but there is always something you can do which is not just discounts or promotions to bring an emotional connection to your core base of customers.

I would have never have believed you last weekend if you said that I would be going to an small show and meeting Delta within a matter of days. So, do something different and memorable to capture those who might fly away…

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