It’s a common thing to be told ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff, concentrate on what really matters’. But what if the small stuff is the stuff that really matters?

When it comes to how your customers experience your brand it’s often the small things that leave a lasting impression. It’s the small things that, if things go wrong, change a routine interaction into a pain point.

Years of brand and relationship building can be undone by one negative experience. And a single entertaining, memorable or unexpected positive experience can have greater effects than the implementation of a major project.

In this very entertaining TED Talk from a few years ago Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy UK and one of the world leaders in the application of behavioural science to marketing, talks about how we should be paying more attention to the small things that can have a disproportionally large effect.


My challenge to you, is can you identify five ‘small’ things that you can do that will really make a difference to your customers. They may not involve Château Pétrus and supermodels (watch the video). It may be something as simple as changing the wording on a standard customer communication, or the layout of a bill, or the on hold music.

If you don’t know where to start, ask your customer facing staff. They will be aware of ‘small’ issues your customers have time and time again even if you aren’t. By taking notice of the small stuff you may be able to achieve something that big projects often don’t – a tangible difference to how your customers experience your brand.

Source: Carolyn Schofield, Brand and Marketing Strategy Consultant, BrandScience NZ  and Chair of MA’s Brand and Customer Special Interest Group.