APB is a Global Speaker, Celebrity & Entertainment Agency

Speaking to the World

Boston | Chicago | San Diego | Atlanta

Jon  Picoult

Jon Picoult

Customer & Employee Experience Expert, Founder of Watermark Consulting


If you’re aspiring to satisfy your customers, then you’re aspiring to mediocrity. That’s the unique philosophy at the heart of Jon Picoult’s work, because building brand loyalty requires impressing customers, not just satisfying them. Read More >

Princeton-trained in cognitive science, Picoult advises that success in business is as much about shaping people’s memories as it is about shaping their experiences. Using captivating stories and eye-opening studies, he explains the breakthrough, psychology-based strategies that great, admired companies use to turn more sales prospects into customers, and more customers into raving fans. Jon leaves audiences enlightened and energized to apply those same techniques in their roles and organizations.

Picoult is the founder of Watermark Consulting and a noted authority on customer and employee experience. From Fortune 1000 CEOs to budding entrepreneurs, he has advised business leaders worldwide on how to cultivate loyalty in both the marketplace and the workplace.

Picoult’s insights have been featured by dozens of media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Inc., Fortune, NBC News and Forbes.com (where he is a regular contributor). His landmark study on the ROI of customer experience is one of the most widely cited analyses of its kind, referenced by firms such as McKinsey, Deloitte, Accenture, Forrester, SAP, and Oracle.

Picoult is also the author of the new book, From Impressed to Obsessed: 12 Principles for Turning Customers and Employees into Lifelong Fans, which debuted as an Amazon #1 New Release and has earned praise from business luminaries such as Horst Schulze (co-founder of Ritz-Carlton Hotels), Hubert Joly (former CEO of Best Buy), and Marshal Goldsmith (world-renowned executive coach).

Prior to establishing Watermark, Picoult held senior executive roles at Fortune 100 companies – leading service, operations, distribution, technology, sales and marketing. Early in his career, at the age of 29, he earned the distinction of becoming the youngest executive officer in the over 150-year history of a leading, global financial services company.

Picoult holds a bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science from Princeton University and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Duke University. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Customer Experience, Customer Service, and Leadership

Why Customer Experience is Bigger Than Customer Service

The Best Service Recovery Story

Speech Topics

The Art & Science Of A Great Customer Experience

How do you get your business to stand out from the crowd? Many sources of competitive differentiation can be fleeting, but a truly distinctive customer experience (and the workplace environment supporting it) can deliver sustainable competitive advantage. In this captivating program based on Jon’s new book, he reveals the breakthrough, science-based techniques that legendary companies use to create truly impressive brand experiences – the kind that turn more sales prospects into customers, and more customers into lifelong fans.

Lead For Loyalty: A Great Customer Experience Starts With You

A great customer experience is like a beautifully choregraphed performance. As with any performance, an important part of this one involves what goes on backstage – in the work environment and with the leaders who shape it. In this insightful keynote, Jon explains how organizational leaders, via their own personal behaviors and the workplace constructs they create, have an unparalleled opportunity to encourage customer-focused behaviors throughout their workforce.

The Cognitive Science Behind A Great Customer Experience

The key to delivering a great customer experience? It’s all in your head! That’s because creating a great impression on customers isn’t just about shaping their experiences, it’s about shaping their memories. In this fascinating program, Jon describes how great companies capitalize on cognitive science to influence how customers perceive and remember their experiences – driving the repurchase and referral behavior that’s at the heart of any successful business.

An ‘A’ For Effortless

Lots of companies fly the “easy to do business with” banner. Few ever actually fulfill that promise, as most consumers can attest. In this fascinating talk, Jon reveals how great companies make it not just easy – but completely effortless – for people to do business with them. Plus, he explains how to eradicate distracting, unproductive effort from the workplace, so employees can keep their focus where it belongs – on their customers.

Grow Your Business “On Purpose”

Many businesses focus on what they do, but fewer focus on why they do it. In this keynote, Jon opens people’s eyes to the powerful concept of a purpose-driven brand – an organization whose “reason for being” goes well beyond traditional financial measures of success. It’s a strategy that’s worked exceptionally well for legendary companies like Patagonia, USAA, and Southwest Airlines. In this session, you’ll learn how to apply the same approach to your business.

Lessons From The Apocoflix: Navigating People Through Change

Back in 2011, Netflix announced a large price increase and a spin-off of its DVD rental business. Customers revolted, leaving in droves. The company’s stock price fell by over 75% and took years to recover. In this amusing and educational program, Jon uses the Netflix debacle to illustrate key principles for successfully navigating both customers and employees through significant change.

From Great Recession To Great Cessation: How To Strengthen Customer Loyalty During Difficult Times

In 2008-09, during the height of the Great Recession, Hyundai Motors increased its market share by a remarkable 40%. Starbucks lost half its market value during that same economic downturn, yet emerged stronger from the recession, outperforming the S&P 500 by more than six-fold. In this intriguing program, Jon reveals how these and other smart companies strengthen customer loyalty during even the most challenging times.