There are few better examples that people want to be privy to exclusive information than the articles that I have read on the ‘secret menus’ of fast food restaurants. The latest article from Quartz is intriguing. Not only because it presents a selection of new items for people to order (cotton candy Frappaccino, and I wonder if you could test that at any Starbucks outlet), but for the buzz that people get from being an insider. It’s the same feeling of ‘yeah!’ that you get when you crack an Easter egg in a video game that exponentially increases your powers for a period of time, or when you learnt that combo when playing Street Fighter as a kid. Sometimes the ‘hacking’ of the system is actual, and sometimes its placement is carefully thought out by masterminds.
I think this observation of human behaviour shouldn’t be discounted when we try to create levels of engagement with consumers or clients. And it has to be levels of engagement – not one consistent plane of depth that never changes. Who wants to be in static relationship? The regular menu items are still available if you want to stick to the tried and true, but on occasion you may want to show your position of priority and order something else that most people have no idea is available to them. It’s like the business provider I met who offers additional products to her biggest and most loyal clients. It’s not something on the service menu, but something they will happily do for people whom they have developed relationships with.