Why you should sweat the small stuff


“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”  Arthur Conan Doyle

“Sometimes the little opportunities that fly at us each day can have the biggest impact.”  Danny Wallace

“(I) can’t help but think about how it is the little things we look back on in life. I wonder how often people think that they should pay more attention to them.”  Erika Lance

Whether it is the chocolate on your pillow, being greeted by name, hearing please and thank you, or someone remembering your preference, small things make us feel valued and appreciated. It’s all about telling your customer that they matter, and that you care.

So get rid of your automated email responses, your ‘fax-on-demand’ service, your FAQs, and all your rote, generic, one-size-fits-all policies that shout that you don’t care, your customers don’t matter, and frankly, you are too busy counting your profits to pay attention to people! I know, you’ll probably have to employ a few more people to replace the machines you’ve come to rely on for ‘customer service’, but the long-term pay-off will be well worth it.

Building real, authentic relationships with your customers will not only ensure their loyalty, but you will be surprised at the wealth of feedback (not to mention free market research) you will gain.



I love sport. Well, most sport in any case. And as a born South African, that means in particular rugby, cricket, and soccer/football. As the crowds roar, and the vuvuzelas cry, my blood beats green.

Our nation has seen the miraculous way in which sport can heal wounds, and bridge divides. I stand in awe at the perseverance, the hard work, the blood, sweat and tears, that athletes put into the game. I am the kind of supporter who can live with my team losing, as long as I feel that they gave their all. I value a tough game above an easy victory.

I also love South African advertising. At times emotional and stirring, at times hilarious in a way that North Americans seldom understand, but Brits usually do, strangely enough.

So, as we are just under 120 days away from the Rugby World Cup, we have an ad to call us to action. A reminder that no matter where in the world we are, it matters not what colour we are, but what colour we wear.

What colour will you wear in September?

The Colonel is back – and he is a little bit creepy!


This week, KFC announced the resurrection of Colonel Sanders, as the fried chicken chain seeks to re-establish its market share in the limited service chicken segment. In 1999, KFC held 39.7% of the US market share in the limited service chicken segment. That figure has shrunk to a current 20.2%, while Chick-fil-A’s U.S. market share has overtaken it, standing at 27.8%. (Technomic and Janney Capital Markets)

Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC, will be played by Darrell Hammond, well known for his appearances on Saturday Night Live, in the new commercials.

SNL's Darrell Hammond is the new Colonel Sanders in a series of new KFC ads.

SNL’s Darrell Hammond is the new Colonel Sanders in a series of new KFC ads.

KFC plans to redesign the interior and the exterior of its restaurants, as well as its packaging. The fast food chain also promises some new menu items, such as Kentucky baked beans, Finger Lickin’ Good Sauce and lemonade from Dole.

The ads have a very retro feel to them, and presumably the idea is to play on nostalgia to lure people back to the franchise. But frankly, I just find them dated, sad, and yes, just a little bit creepy.

But hey, judge for yourself, maybe it is just me. Here is a preview of the ads, which will start featuring on Monday, 25 May, (Memorial Day in the US.)

It makes me wonder how they did their market research. I think neither the ads, nor the changes, address the real reasons why KFC’s market share has diminished, and therefor won’t solve the problem either.

Looking at the trends in health and the fast food industry, I think they would have been much better served paying more attention to their menu, by introducing healthier options, while retaining their signature taste.

They should also have addressed the issue of how and where their ingredients are sourced, and come out with a firm policy to only serve poultry that is antibiotic free. MacDonald’s have already done so, and Chick-fil-A has announced its plans to eliminate antibiotic-fed chicken from their menu.

While only time will tell if their new direction will boost their market share, I, for one, will not be rushing out to buy shares in the company.

How effective do you think this marketing campaign will be?