The Gold Standard

Giving Your Customers What They Didn’t Know They Wanted

By Colin Cowie

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About The Book

Learn how to cultivate the most incredible customer experiences on earth through this essential guide by Colin Cowie, distinguished purveyor of unforgettable “wow” events for the world’s most demanding clients.

If you’re searching for ways to ensure your customers walk away from your company with a smile on their face and a plan to return, you found it. And any business organization can adapt the tools and techniques in this book.

Colin Cowie, one of the world’s most sought-after event planners, shares the hard-won and hard-nosed advice he has learned through entertaining and engaging stories and examples. He gives readers the indisputable blueprint for creating a customer service culture that anyone can tailor to their own needs, whether you’re a shopkeeper, corporate marketing director, or budding event planner.


“Colin Cowie’s events are the gold standard for creating unforgettable experiences. His relentless pursuit of excellence sets him apart in the customer service industry. Following his advice, you will impress your customers, and keep them coming back for more.”

Susan Dell, Philanthropist

MSD Capitol

In today’s world, service is the only true differentiator, making The Gold Standard a must-read book for anyone interested in improving service in their business. Colin Cowie’s mastery of service excellence delivery is unsurpassed and can be applied in virtually any industry. This is a guidebook to success as he shares all of his secrets to creating happy and loyal customers in a compelling ‘how to’ anecdotal style.”

Cindy Novotny, Radical Mentor

Master Connection Associates

“In Colin’s enjoyable, fascinating book he shares his secrets of A+ customer service. Now readers can surprise their own clients and customers with what their clients and customers didn’t know they wanted. That’s the ultimate in proactive service.”

Jackie and David Simon, Chairman and CEO

Simon Property Group

“Colin’s engaging writing style is evident from the first page. His unique references exploring standards of excellence ranging from McDonald’s fries in North Dakota to a royal wedding in Doha make this book truly stand out. Frankly, it’s the best first-person analysis I’ve read on the topic of customer service. It’s an enjoyable read with unforgettable practical advice you can put into use immediately.”

Ken Blanchard, The Ken Blanchard Companies

Co-author of bestsellers, The New One Minute Manager and Raving Fans

“Great customer service begins long before the customer walks in the door. It’s created, planned, it’s organized, with each step thought through in a way that your customer is sure to enjoy a seamless, unsurpassed experience that they want to repeat, over and over again. In his book, Colin tells you how your can create your own version of The Gold Standard.”

Jean Georges Vongerichten, Chef

Bestselling cookbook author, and television personality

“Colin Cowie is a master at creating unforgettable experiences. His latest book is a must-read for all those seeking new ways to elevate their services, delight their customers and build lasting relationships.”

Pauline Brown

Author of Aesthetic Intelligence and Former Chair of LVMH North America

“I truly believe Colin Cowie’s The Gold Standard is more timely than ever, as businesses look to engage with the shifting needs of their guests. A copy of this powerful book in the hands of the people who work with you can elevate the experience of everyone involved and undoubtedly increase the size of your audience.”

Radha Arora, President

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

“Colin is the epitome of the Gold Standard . As a hospitalitarian at some of the finest luxury hotels, clubs & real estate developments in the world, I have looked to Colin to help me transform my teams to ensure a memorable guest experience for all! Thank you Colin for your fabulous visionary leadership.”

John Carlton Tolbert

Blackstone Real Estate Hotels & Resorts / Founder - Revelation consultancy.

“Incredible nuggets of wisdom. Nothing teaches like experience and the insight that Colin Cowie shares in The Gold Standard is a must read. Inspirational and energizing for those who aspire to deliver the absolute finest in customer service.”

Alan Fuerstman, Founder, Chairman & CEO

Montage International

“What I enjoy most about restaurant life, is the sense that I am inviting the world to dinner. There is a rarefied thrill in surpassing our guests’ high expectations— every day, year in, year out! If your goal is consistent excellence, Colin’s The Gold Standard offers you far more than you expect. Everyone who works with me, is going to have a copy!”

Eric Ripert, Chef & Owner

Le Bernardin, bestselling cookbook author, and television personality

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About Colin Cowie


Colin Cowie is a fiercely passionate experiential designer with an exceptionally curious mind. Over the past thirty years, Colin has designed and produced unforgettable luxury events for the most celebrated people, including Oprah Winfrey, Ryan Seacrest, and middle eastern royalty. Colin’s relentless pursuit of the finest and most authentic experiences has taken him 15.5 million miles around the world, and he has become an expert in service excellence along the way.  

Today service excellence is more important than ever before, and Colin’s groundbreaking guest experience brand – Thrive Hospitality – solidifies his status as the Master of Hospitality. Colin helps businesses raise their standards and engage with the shifting needs of guests while glamorizing tedious protocols and building lasting emotional connections.

By some level, we are all in the service industry, and Colin’s eleventh book—The Gold Standard—is a universal guidebook to success. Through entertaining anecdotes, Colin explores standards of excellence, considering everything from McDonald’s fries to a royal wedding in Doha, and shares his best-kept secrets to creating happy and loyal clientele. So, if you’re ready to elevate your services and reimagine your guest experience, it’s time to create your own version of the Gold Standard—and this is how you do it.

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“The lessons I’ve learned can be scaled to any size company, and adapted to any business, even if someone works alone at their kitchen counter. I happen to be in the service business, but don’t we all have a customer to serve?”
Colin Cowie

With this book, you will:

  • Discover the core values, including service and accountability, that fuel Colin’s customer care ethos, and how you can apply those values to your own business.
  • Learn how to formulate your own vision, mission statements, and guiding principles.
  • Learn how to use every complaint as an opportunity.
  • Be guided to create your own ‘bible’ of scripts, protocols, and procedures that will streamline customer care situations.
  • Become armed to inspire and empower your team.

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Practical advice for creating an exceptional customer experience that will grow your business.

Watch Colin consult real business owners on the challenges they face and ways to implement The Gold Standard of customer service.

“Life is all about the people we surround ourselves with and how we interact with them.”
Colin Cowie