Focus on the Details
By Nico Hohman
What makes a great brand? What makes a great company? Certainly a brand or company that has an inspiring vision would fit that description. A company looking to change the world would certainly be a company that I would like to follow.
You have to get the big and small things right in order to succeed.
While lofty aspirations like changing the world are important, the best brands and companies know to also keep their focus on the little details. Focusing on the smallest pieces within your organization are just as important as having audacious goals. Consumers and followers will remember the smallest details as much as they remember the big dreams.
To better show you how to focus on the details, I want to give you two real life examples from the business world. The first is the Mercedes-Benz S Class sedan and the second is the Apple MacBook Air laptop. What do these two products do better than any other product in their respective categories?
They focus on the details.
The Mercedes-Benz S Class sedan is one of the most luxurious and awe-inspiring mass market high end sedans. Mercedes, across its entire vehicle line up, produces some of the best automobiles on the road. But what makes their vehicles truly great is their attention to the smallest details on their cars. One specific example is the lights on the base of the lid of the trunk.
The only time you would ever notice these lights is when you have the trunk open at night. This may seem like an insignificant addition, but at a time when a driver is outside of her vehicle at night standing over her trunk with her back to traffic having lights visible on her car to warn oncoming traffic that there is a pedestrian near the road is not only a great design feature but it also a great safety feature.
Without paying attention to these little details, the company would be failing at upholding its inspiring message: "the best or nothing."
One of the enduring legacies of Steve Jobs at Apple is his utmost attention to focus on the details. Specifically, Jobs would force his designers to make sure that the things Apple consumers would never see still look perfectly designed. Case in point, the MacBook Air is a 13-inch laptop that weighs less than two pounds, yet is every bit as powerful on the inside as it is modern and sleek on the outside.
What Steve Jobs knew about design is that no artist is ever completely satisfied unless every bit of his art was perfect. That included all the pieces that the consumer would never see. If you were to ever open a piece of Apple hardware, you would notice that the components and circuitry are perfectly laid out in a clean, neat and organized manner. This was not by accident.
The only way Jobs would put his stamp of approval on an Apple product was if the inside was as beautifully designed as the exterior.
Having great and lofty visions and goals for your company is important to show your clients that you care about the long-term success of your company. But, consumers will remember the smallest details about your company just as much as they will remember the inspiring vision. If you do not focus on the smallest details, you could alienate the consumers you are trying to reach.
The next time you have a decision to make within your company, make sure to focus on the details.