Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Extra Touches

As I recall, Toyota was the first car company to come up with a change holder in the glove box.

It was later described as an "Aha!" feature. I know people who showed me the inside of the glove box before discussing the rest of the car.

Some skeptics probably dismissed the idea as fluff and yet for many a prospective buyer, the little touch gave some very positive signals:

1. They know I need a convenient place for spare change. [They know me!]

2. They didn't have to put it in the car but they did. [They care about me!]

3. If they pay this much attention to a minor feature, they probably are real fanatics when it comes to the major ones. [What I can't see must be great!]

The little things, in short, aren't that little. Many an entrepreneur acts like a Maoist when it comes to product presentation; quickly dismissing extras as needless and costly distractions. There is a difference, however, between an item that gilds the lily and one that produces "Aha!"

It is a challenge all of us can face: How can we tweak a product or service so it becomes memorable?

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