A study of the Element of Surprise and its Effects on Customer Loyalty

Viktorija Stankaityté

Student thesis: Master thesis


The aim of this thesis is to study the element of surprise and its effects on customer loyalty using already existing literature, collection of primary data through in-depth interviews and the case company GLOSSYBOX. Most of what is known about surprise, as an emotion, originates from psychology literature, thus marketing-based research about surprise and the empirical evidence found, suggests that it plays an influential role in customer satisfaction and loyalty (Heilman, Nakamoto, & Rao, 2002) This field of study is limited, therefore this research takes a broad perspective in literature review, but to fully understand what a surprise is and how it is used in marketing, it was found important to begin with an exploration of the literature on experience and emotion, to find out if the element of surprise had been studied to provide a thorough description of what it is and how it could affect customer satisfaction and loyalty. The main findings of the study show that the literature portraits an important relationship between experience, emotion of surprise and how it can relate to customer satisfaction and loyalty. Furthermore, it was discovered that the factors of experience are similar to factors provided by the element of surprise and customer satisfaction, which are essential factors to gain customer loyalty. Even if the study of the case company GLOSSYBOX was not able to fully confirm if the surprise element leads to customer loyalty, it did indicate that it affects customer emotions and their satisfaction and should be taken into consideration when marketing managers plan new strategies for products or services.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages103
SupervisorsJesper Clement