Soft-Side Differentiation: It’s the Little Things

Do you remember the old popular song “Little Things Mean a Lot”? It would make a good anthem for the companies out there who do not understand that a consciousness of doing what you say you will do when you say you will do it is a vital part of what works for a brand.

I heard a refreshing sign off by a BBC news anchor the other day, which brought this to mind. He avoided the usual anchor’s farewell when he said, “Thanks for having me.” It struck me as both original and genuine when he also said it with a beaming smile. When I go to a restaurant and the staff knows the food in detail and can recommend a wine and tempts me with visionary descriptions of dessert options, and when I leave I get a cheery wave and an invitation to come back soon, I think of it as a necessary but often absent part of the satisfaction of dining out.

It’s what you might think of as soft-side differentiation. I was in Toronto on business recently and had to send an early morning FedEx package. I called the FedEx office at 7 A.M. and said I had to send a rush package to Chicago. The person on the other end said quite spontaneously, “Oh, goodie! We love doing that kind of stuff!” It was as though I were maybe the third person to ever call on FedEx to deliver a package. That young man’s simple utterance made my day.

Mark Twain told us to “Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” There is nothing like a pleasant surprise to endear a customer to a brand.

What brands have made you feel good or have gone that extra mile for you? Please share your experiences here or on Twitter and include #howdoesitmakeyoufeel #HDIMYF.

Need help with your brand strategy? Contact Brandtrust today.

Daryl’s new book, How Does It Make You Feel? Why Emotion Wins The Battle of Brands, is now available for purchase digitally on Amazon. Buy your copy today! Follow HDIMYF updates on Twitter @BTCEO and @Brandtrust!

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