You Should Sweat the Small Stuff

Customer service, social media campaigns, tech support, employee training, voice mail systems, environmental services, building signage: … it is all Marketing and PR and Branding.

Everything reflects on the company and the brand.

What does it say about a company that they are switching to using their own products in their stores? Or a communications job seeker that sends poorly written, typo-laden emails?

When everything matters, you can’t afford to ignore the little things.

During a Delta flight a couple weeks ago, after working the Sudoku in the in-flight magazine and deciding if I really needed the wine glass necklace holder or the giant iPod speaker from SkyMall (well, maybe the LSU boat fenders would make a nice gift), I started looking around the plane.

Yes there were things Delta here and there, but nothing remarkable. Or impressionable.

The week before on an AirTran flight I did notice the little things. They were right there, where you would expect. Except not, as someone in the Marketing program made sure to put the Brand and the Message right in my face and made it hard to ignore.

  • Beverage napkin. A clever warning about drinking beverage fast or slow as service is too fast to let it melt or something, as related to a low cost airline. (Delta’s promoted Coca Cola.)
  • Pretzels. The packaging included instruction on how to eat pretzels on a “low fare” airline, with lots of reminders about how AirTran delivers lower fares. The step-by-step instructions tinged with humor kept me reading, and kept repeating the brand position. (Delta had peanuts, and those yummy, SkyMiles branded cookies.)

This reminds me of a story I read (cannot find the link, sorry) about a brand sponsoring the beverage napkins on select flights to a big trade show; creative, low cost out of the box marketing and branding that generated solid exposure.

A client of mine told me about opening the iPhone package, just how impressive it was literally, right out of the box. Heck even the job offer folder from Apple is a big deal (to those to whom that kinda thing is a big deal).

Your brand is everything, everywhere. It’s the people, products, places, promotions, everything. It all matters. Even the small stuff.

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