Archive for June, 2009

June 10, 2009

The Devil’s in the Details

Yesterday morning I attended a networking breakfast for small business owners. The speaker was good and I made a few promising connections, but I was left with a bad taste in my mouth . . . and it wasn’t because of the meal.

As I perused the brochures and other materials displayed on the exhibit tables, I was struck by the number of times I very quickly found inconsistencies in their content. I’ll highlight just one example.

At the table for a well-known health tonic, which I’ll call DrinkME, the product name was written three different ways in two different mediums. On the tabletop display, it was written as DrinkME—their proper, trademarked style. However, in their pamphlet, it was written as Drink ME and also Drink Me.

When I mentioned it to the sales rep, her response was, “Oh, well, you’re a writer. You’re probably the only one who would notice that.”

Hmmm . . .

Now, maybe she was right. Maybe I was the only person there that noticed, but consider for a moment how this “DrinkME, Drink ME, Drink Me” conflict affected me:

While the DrinkME rep enthusiastically shared facts about her product—the specific percentages of the key ingredients, global environment changes affecting our access to nutrients—I found myself feeling quite skeptical. I listened politely, but in my mind I was questioning not only the accuracy of her claims, but also the trustworthiness of the entire franchise.

Why? Because her flippant response to the inconsistent presentation of her product’s name—along with the fact that the inconsistency was present at all—hurt her credibility and left me with a poor overall impression of the DrinkME organization.

Remember, the devil’s in the details. When the details of your marketing materials are inconsistent, it’s a big deal. It’s unprofessional and could be damaging to your brand and your business.