Have you ever been to a retail establishment in person or online and something about the experience was a bit off or altogether terrible and you vowed you'd never do business with that company again? We've all had that happen at one time or another. We may have even complained to the manager or maybe even went higher in the company to voice our concerns. But we're left with a bit of a disconnected feeling because what we thought would happen during the shopping experience didn't happen. The company did not deliver on the brand promise they made. Satisfaction guaranteed might have turned into satisfaction breakdown. Or service with a smile may have become dealing with a tired and poorly trained employee. Or maybe what you ordered online arrived broken and you couldn't get in touch with a human at the company to get the problem corrected. This is not only a breakdown in the brand promise but it's also a breakdown in trust between the brand and the customer.
On the other hand, we've also all probably had those experiences that leave us unexpectedly delighted by the little detail that seals the deal in making us fans of a brand. Maybe a server at a restaurant entertains your crying child and turns the stressful situation around. Maybe you order something that arrives broken and the company not only sends you a new, unbroken product but also refunds your money . . . without you even asking them to do that. Those the sorts of brand experiences that can turn customers into brand evangelists. Little things that brands do during the experience can really have a huge impact on how the customer ends up feeling about the brand.
The latter was my experience when I recently purchased a small rug for my kitchen from an online retailer called Rug Studio. I searched for a rug by size and color and by machine washability. Those were pretty much the only factors that I considered in my purchase, along with it being under a certain price. I ended up ordering a rug made by a company called Couristan.
When the rug arrived it was rolled and wrapped in plastic. As I unwrapped and then unrolled the rug a small piece of paper fell out. To my surprise the small note indicated that no child labor was used in making this rug. Now, buying products that are not made using child labor is important to me. However, I did not even think to look for this when searchign for a rug nor did I consider that this information would even be available for this product. But, I was delighted to be informed via this tiny note that, in fact, the lovely and washable rug I had just purchased was not made with child labor. I wasn't even expecting to be this happy with a rug. And yet this company not only delivered a beautiful product but also a bit of a warm and fuzzy just by adding this tiny note inside their product. What a big impression a little detail can make. I'm now a fan of Rug Studio and of Couristan all because of the positive brand experience delivered by this tiny piece of paper. So if you think the little things don't matter, think again. The experience is everything!