A Real Life Example of the “Excite” Stage in the Customer Value Journey


As marketers, our job is to move people through the customer value journey, an eight-step framework that turns strangers into raving fans. The eight steps are aware, engage, subscribe, convert, excite, ascend, advocate, and promote.

In this post, I focus on the “excite” stage. I’ll share a personal experience that provides a clear and compelling example of what the excite stage looks like in real life.

Who would think buying a mattress on Amazon could be exciting?

Recently, my wife and I had to purchase a mattress for one of our children. So we did what every modern shopper does these days: we went straight to Amazon, skipping right past the Google search. Our default mode once we’re in Amazon is to use a combination of reviews and price to make a decision. In this case, we ended up buying a foam twin mattress from a company called Zinus. 

When the box arrived and I opened it up, I found this:

It’s an envelope with the following words written on the flap: “Psst… in here.”

Now, that alone was enough to bring a smile to my face, even though I knew I had a lot of assembly ahead of me. But what I found when I opened the envelope and peeked inside truly delighted me.

Written on a green band surrounding a mystery bundle was this note: 

Wow! We really love what you’ve done with the place. And we’re feeling pretty honored to be the newest part of your home. Thank you for putting us under the same roof with the things and people you love most. We don’t take that lightly. We want everyone to be excited about what they get in this box and we really hope that you are. If it’s not too much trouble, let us know what you think. Give it a few days or a few weeks. No rush. We read every single review because your honest feedback means everything to us. We hate to waste anything, including this card. So please slide off this green band and send this card on to someone you love. I’m sure you can think of someone who would be ecstatic to receive some kind words from you in their mailbox. Sincerely, the people of Zinus

When I slipped off the band, I found three note cards:

Two of the notecards say “hello you” and another says “thank you.”

So not only did Zinus turn my purchase into an experience, but they also excited me by the experience, and they laid the groundwork for me to easily be able to advocate and promote on their behalf. And now here I am recording a video of my experience!

Okay, maybe a mattress can be exciting. But a set of instructions?

But the excitement doesn’t end there.


Also in the envelope was the best set of instructions I’ve ever read.

Here’s what they say:

Hand this to the responsible one.

Please remove from packaging within 72 hours of receipt to make sure your mattress can grow to its full potential.

Your mattress has been under a lot of pressure recently and may lash out if not unwrapped carefully. Please give him or her some space for 24 to 48 hours. This will give your mattress time to relax and decompress.

Also, please be sensitive if your mattress has an odor after being set free. Being sealed in plastic on a long trip can make anyone a little fragrant. So no hard words about the smell for a few hours. You wouldn’t want to offend your new best friend.

That calming sensation that just washed over you, that’s probably the green tea extract we infuse into all our foam. It’s just one of several natural materials we use to eliminate the bad and put your mind at ease.

I’ve purchased everything from shoes, toiletries, clothing, and electronics on Amazon, and I’ve never gone out of my way like this before to rave about a product or a company. But Zinus has done such a good job with their marketing — particularly in the excite stage — that here I am going out of my way to tell you about it.

And when it comes down to it, one of the best ways to beat our competitors isn’t on price — it’s on customer experience. 

How can you excite your customers?

So my challenge to you is this: How can you deliver this kind of value and customer service? How can you create wonderful customer experiences for the people you serve? What is one area within your business that you can focus on today so that you can deliver that extra step in the customer experience?

As you can see from this example, you don’t have to spend a lot per client to make this happen. I bet you the contents of the envelope in my mattress box cost a combined $2. That’s not a lot of money, but it’s money well spent.

As it turns out, I didn’t know anything about Zinus before I ordered this mattress. My positive experience with them made me curious to learn more about them, so I went to their website. When I got there, I saw that they also build couches and loveseats. It just so happens that my wife and I are also in the market for a new couch and loveseat. And guess who’s at the top of our list now?

Once again, I encourage you to identify one area in your business where you can focus on delivering added value and that little something extra to excite your customers and create a wonderful experience for the people you serve. They’ll thank you for it.