Why oh why do we let minute details swell up to the point they ultimately overshadow the big stuff? I see it happening in all walks of life, and as much as I try to keep things in perspective, I fall into the same pit.
Call it human nature. Call it being nitpicky. But whatever you call it, it must serve a purpose because attention to detail is ingrained in our lives.
Example: Last weekend I went to a restaurant with some buddies. The experience was very pleasant. Good waiters. Good drinks. Good music. And a good environment. Everything was good, until the bill came. We looked at the menu so we knew what the prices would be, but tacked on to the bill was an “entertainment fee.”
Yes, I know a lot of places in New York do this, but we were oblivious to the charge when we sat down. The entertainment charge was a minuscule fraction of the total bill, not even worth arguing over. But we all left the place with a bitter taste in our mouths. The feeling of enjoyment quickly wiped out. Such a pleasant place should be above nickel and dime strategies.
I would’ve gladly payed a few extra bucks per drink which would’ve equaled out the entertainment. A hidden fee however just ruins your view of the business. Good business is above all honest.
If you own a business, work tirelessly to be transparent and make the particularities count. We’ll pay you what you ask if the experience is worth it. But when you sneakily cheat us out of petty sums, our mind only sees the failed details. Next time we’ll offer our patronage to the place down the block with $20 cocktails but free mints.
Sweat the small stuff. Communicate the wrong message with any part of your organization and you make your branding job that much harder. In football the analysts focus on how well the Offense is performing, or how well the Defense is shutting down the other team. But close games are usually decided by the Special Teams. If they don’t maximize yardage, then they’re working against their own team’s Offensive or Defensive effectiveness. Same with brands.
Employees. Your employees and your organizational culture determine the quality of work your organization achieves. Work tirelessly towards aligning their outlook with what your brand communicates. If your brand cares about the environment, make sure your employees care about it too. I’ve personally witnessed many companies whose products preach being green, yet their office has no recycling bins for used paper. Hippocrisy at its best. And the staff takes note of this. Their statements about the company to their peers now become empty. With time this detracts from your purpose and brand impact.
Management. Yes, they should live the brand as well. Richard Branson lives for adventure. Virgin’s businesses consist of adventure. Steve Jobs wore jeans and sneakers because Apple stood for anti-establishment. Bill Gates dressed like an overworked accountant for a reason. Windows at one point dominated corporate computing. See a trend?
Correspondence. Your email signatures are another chance to brand yourself. Seems straightforward, but if you aim to be edgy, add some edge to what your email signature says. Don’t miss any opportunity.
Company site. Does your brand evangelize your customers’ right to self-expression? Then think twice about limiting the types of comments that can be Continue reading