Here’s the no-crap headline of the year: The economy sucks. That’s caused most brands to re-evaluate their marketing mix, re-allocate spending and re-prioritize initiatives. Sometimes the marketing strategy or tactic that makes you stand out, though, can be something incredibly small.
I’ve always heard that you shouldn’t sweat the small stuff. There are times, though, that I disagree. Depending on the context, sweating the small stuff can mean the difference between success and failure. The details matter and paying attention to them can set your brand apart from the competition.
Case in point…
I bought my wife a sweater from jcrew.com a few weeks before Christmas. It wasn’t a large order for the retailer – about $50 total. My wife opened the box when it arrived, pulled out a note card-sized piece of paper, read it, smiled and said “this is nice.” Then she handed it over to me.
The note was “from” J.Crew chairman and CEO Millard “Mickey” Drexler. Here’s what it said:
“We’ve all read the news, and I think it’s safe to say, we’ve seen better times. We understand that now more than ever, where you shop is an important decision… so we just want to say thank you for your continued loyalty to J. Crew. – Mickey”
Of course he didn’t hand write the note, though the font chosen gives you that impression. He most likely didn’t write the copy. He may not have even read it. As a marketer, I know these things. But the note and the sentiment behind it left us with a very good feeling about our purchase and about J.Crew generally. Apparently, the brand has given a few other folks the same feeling.
That’s because the note shows that J.Crew recognizes an important truth. Consumers are making more calculated purchase decisions now, but getting what we pay for is never the only value we want from those purchases, regardless of whether we’re in an up economy or a down economy. We also want to feel that our business is genuinely appreciated.
Often we brainstorm elaborate marketing tactics in hopes they will make a big splash with consumers. That’s not a bad thing, but we shouldn’t overlook the small stuff that can make a meaningful impact. Want to build consumer loyalty for your brand? Let them know you’re thankful for their business. The easiest way to do that, ironically, is to simply say “thank you.”
Turns out our moms were right. Good manners like saying “please” and “thank you” can take us far in life – and our brands, too.
- Have you been impressed by a company – small or large, local or national – that won you over by paying attention to the details that too often get overlooked?
- What did they do?
- What are other small things brands can do to win consumers in this down economy?