Issued by: Blast Brand Catalysts, By: Chris Midgley

Chris Midgley, Strategist with Blast Brand Catalysts, on the importance of paying attention to the small things.

“Don’t sweat the small stuff”. Focus on the bigger picture and the small things will take care of themselves. These are two pieces of advice you can forget. They are simply two lies people tell themselves as a means of doing less. As brand custodians it is imperative that we are able to focus and see the bigger picture, as well as “sweat the small stuff”. We cannot afford to lose focus on either element.

So why “sweat the small stuff?” When attention to anything is no longer being paid, people begin to make compromises. Compromises on company and brand values. Compromises on all that has been built up, often over many years. This starts to lead to expectations no longer being met. What happens next? We compromise on what we can deliver on as a brand. When this happens, customers begin to feel unhappy and often choose to vote with their wallets and go elsewhere. This has a knock-on effect, as less customers means it is more difficult to achieve budgetary targets. When you don’t achieve your targets, your budgets are affected and overall quality, brand values and levels of customer service continue to erode and plummet.

So what is the flip side? You continue to pay attention to these essential, little details. Place brand values, quality and customer service at the forefront of all you do. Raise the expectations of management. In fact, raise the expectations of all staff. Raise the expectations of what customers can expect to receive and get people talking and feeling excited about your brand. Positive word-of-mouth may lead to trial. Deliver or surpass on the expectations, and customers are likely to come back, which in turn translates into an increase in sales.

There is similarity in these two approaches – there is very little immediate change at first. However, over time the changes become increasingly clear. If you have let the small things slide, it is likely to take on an extra-ordinary effort to begin to correct the regression. When you do focus on the small things it is easy to become disheartened. Everyone is working harder, putting in extra effort, investing more and seeing little or no reward (at least initially). When the reward starts to show, you will be glad that you did in fact “sweat the small stuff”.