I was having lunch near my office downtown. The restaurant was almost full, and I was by myself, so I took a seat at the bar.
Even though it's a place I don't go often, I knew most of the other people at the bar, common among us downtowners. And they all knew the bartender, Mark.
Mark was an octopus, serving food and drink customers at the bar, which equaled several tables full of people. Service was good, but secondary, because every one of us was enjoying ourselves. It helped that it was Friday.
In a recent conversation with a group of instructors at a vocational college, one of them said, “Finding these young fellows a job after they graduate isn’t the problem. The problem is that many don’t understand what they have to do to keep their jobs.”
They just can’t get it in their heads that they have to come to work every day. That they can’t just decide to skip a day or two. They can’t realize the importance of being on the job at eight, not eight-forty-five. That they have to have on a clean shirt. They have to have their tools.
As adults, we realize how different our world is today from that of our parents. And theirs from their parents. And there’s nothing like generational differences to kill off brands that don’t stay relevant with each new generation.
A critical aspect of marketing is making sure that a brand stays relevant to each new generation.
An expression I don't hear much any more is, “don't sweat the small stuff,” but I absolutely see demonstrations of it everyday. It means don't worry about the details and concentrate on the “big picture.”
Yet, little matters more than the details, because it is the details that determine the quality of the execution, and most great strategies or plans fail, not because they were bad, but because they were executed poorly. Billions in a retail chain with check-out clerks who don't even look at the customer.