Home > Uncategorized > It’s always the little things

It’s always the little things

I love my morning tea. But, I confess, I am a bit lazy about doing the whole brewing tea leaves thing, so I use tea bags. I even like the specific brand that I use. It’s a local Kenyan brand. But what absolutely drives me crazy is that over half the time the string will detach from the tea bag causing the bag to fall into the mug and then one needs to fish it out. Annoying when all you want to do is have a sip of the stuff.

Friday afternoon I took my colleagues out for a lunch. Good conversations and good food was had. Then it was time to leave. But for the longest time we couldn’t find a waiter to get our bill. When we did pay the bill, the wait for change took an interminable amount of time.

My final example, how many of us have had the experience of buying a bottle and when you try to open it you find that the cap and seal ring go round and round the bottle. Consumers of an Indian brand of rum called Old Monk will testify to it now being part of the brand DNA!.

My point here is that the experience of the product itself is great. The tea is good. The food is good. the rum is very good. But the little things that surround it cast a shadow over the experience and negatively impact the brand.

As an advertising agency our key outputs are presentations and ads. It drives me mental when I see spelling mistakes in the work. It is like if the strategy is sound or the work looks good these little things don’t matter.

As marketers a lot of time is spent on the core brand and the attendant elements of the marketing mix. I am sure the best brands do a world class job on it.

I submit to you, however, that the little things that the customer experiences in her/his interactions form an unplanned brand impression.

Brands like amazon and apple get it.

Amazon is the world’s best logistics company. They have mastered the science of ensuring that their job is not done with the order at a great price. It is only done when the product is delivered to customer satisfaction.

There’s a pizza brand in Nairobi called Naked Pizza. Their promise is that they will deliver their pizza in 20 minutes. And they have beaten that every time we have ordered. Again they are not just in the pizza business. They are also in the delivery business. It is not enough to be good in just one.

As more brands get into areas far beyond just production and distribution and move into customer engagement they need to ensure that they have mapped that business just as well as they have done their core. And ensure that gaps are closed and they target the same level of satisfaction as the do in their main business.

It’s not that difficult. Mapping the product journey and ensuring that at every consumer touch point excellence is targeted, we should all be good.

Very simplistically, for illustration purposes,  going back to my tea bag story a journey may look something like this

Advertising: Print, TV, OOH, digital. Ensure key message is delivered clearly and in a desirable manner

Packaging in store: Ensure branding is clear. Contents eg number of bags, flavour, tagged/individually wrapped are clearly visible

On opening the pack: The tea bags are neatly laid out, easy to take out each tea bag without damage, tags are attractive, string looks good

Brewing: Tag stays in place, string is strong, bag doesn’t open, brewing is quick

Discarding the tea bag: Make it easy

and so on.

It helps identify the points that brands can perhaps make a subtle difference and either fix a problem or make a talking point.


For..as Kurt Vonnegut said in a different contextimages2

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