GiftWhy do companies invest in marketing? Usually it all boils down to increasing sales.

There are other reasons, such as increasing customer loyalty, market share, frequency, etc….but even these are about sales at the end of the day.

This week’s blog post is about the little things your company can do to achieve the same end (increase sales) in addition to sales and marketing.

I was inspired to write this post by a visit to a McDonald’s restaurant. I was on the road and went there to do some work and grab breakfast.

When I walked in I asked staff if they had WiFi and if any tables had plugs for my laptop. The man I asked showed me a special section with plugs behind each table.

He was amused, saying that they’ve only had the plugs for two weeks and as soon as the electrician finished installing them customers rushed over and plugged in their various devices….iPads, laptops, phones.

We chatted for a minute and he told me that the owner opted to have the plugs installed when he found out that potential customers were leaving and going to other McDonald’s in the area that were better equipped.

He pointed out an overhead TV that was also newly installed, and for a similar reason – their customers want to catch up on the news while grabbing a meal or coffee.

Is there something your company could do, change, add or take away, that may seem like a little thing, but would be a big thing in the minds of your customers?

Ideally something that would set you apart from the competition, cause potential customers to choose your company instead of another, or just make them even happier for choosing you (and more likely to come back again).

Something your customers would like but that no one else is providing. In some cases your customers could tell you if you asked them – in other cases they wouldn’t know what they were missing until you provided it.

Here are some more examples to inspire you:

  • The auto service center that washes your vehicle with any service
  • The icecream shop that provides an inviting outdoor seating space
  • The salon that has massaging recliners to sit in while having your hair washed
  • The shopping mall that provides mobile device charging stations (often with corporate sponsorship – think Telus, AT&T, Verizon)
  • The Dentist that offers ear phones and your choice of playlist
  • The women’s clothing store that provides a seating area for men with comfortable chairs and male oriented books and magazines
  • The repair man that cleans up any mess caused by his job (scrap wood, drywall dust, dirt, etc.)

Here are some examples of value-adds that have become common place:

  • The waiting lounge filled with toys and books to occupy your children
  • Anywhere you go that provides free WiFi
  • The grocery store that has a few special carts that look like race cars
  • The real estate agent that provides home staging advice

I’m reminded of a quote I like by Bruce Barton:

Some­times when I con­sider what tremen­dous con­se­quences come from lit­tle things, I am tempted to think there are no lit­tle things.”