sly : marketing

The New Guy and the Tiny Details in Marketing

It’s close to 9 PM, but the weather is not like it was the day I wrote about my summer vacation in Norway. The clouds are heavy and it’s raining – I am having an amazing time outside. I love to stand outside in the rain and watch the waves crash against the shore.

I am looking at the kiosk, the only building at the beach. The new guy is Martin, he sells newspapers and refreshments. It’s his first year.

I am all alone at the beach and I am thinking about how much I love this place and I am thinking about some of the tiny details that Martin has done in order to improve the kiosk.

I’ll only mention three, although I could have added many more (not to forget that Martin is an awesome guy and that he has added a lot of new and different types of food and beverages etc..).

He added awesome music

The first thing he did was add a couple of speakers to the wall.

speakers at storesand

Martin has a great taste in music, and I just love to listen to all the various music he is playing. I could stay there for hours watching the ocean and just listen to the songs. He added value to his kiosk by adding music.

He added shelter

shelter at storesand

I am outside no matter if it’s raining or the sun is shining. But, Martin discovered fast that even though a lot of people like to stay outside in the rain, they won’t come to his kiosk and stay outside eating and drinking (or reading newspapers). So, Martin added shelter. This way people can hide from the rain or get shadow from the sun. A shelter adds value to the kiosk.

He added table cloth

I usually don’t recognize details like a table cloth, but when Martin added table cloth to the tables on the beach I couldn’t stop staring. Wow.

table cloth at storesand

The old tables turned into brand new tables just by adding table cloth. It looks great and adds value to his kiosk.

Martin understands marketing and that some of the best marketing is in the tiny details and doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

43 responses to “The New Guy and the Tiny Details in Marketing”

  1. Loved the hidden lesson within the post Jens!

    I like the way you described the tiny details in marketing Martin took care of that would really make people stop and stare. πŸ™‚

    And I could well visualize the beach and the waves, and the way things must have been. I guess with the table cloths put up, anyone would love to spend time at Martin’s kiosk. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Harleena,

      Martin has done an awesome job, and I have been thinking about how powerful things like “the right kind of” music is. This kiosk didn’t used to have music, and just by adding it, things have changed completely.

      Thank you so much for your kind words πŸ™‚

  2. Rahman says:

    I like the observations you’ve made and you’re very much right. All these tiny little details matter. People would love them and see them as you did.

    On the web, there are lots of negative and positive things about our stores, companies, and kiosks! Is everything tidy, welcoming, and beautifully designed for easy serving the potential customers? I’m amazed why there’s so much SEO services on the web while few usability services you could find. I think usability, functionality and simplicity of buying process, everyone’s order funnel, should be optimized before things are optimized for search engines.

    Rahman Mehraby
    TraveList Marketing Blog

    • That’s a very interesting observation. Too many companies are doing SEO without thinking about adding valuable content, or connecting with their customers and building relationships and trust.

      A few years ago all that matters was a website with information, but that’s not enough today. We need to be present and build personal relationships with people.

  3. Zaid says:

    Hi Jens,

    Thank you for the interesting and fun article(s) that you have been publishing lately.

    Yes I do agree, despite what we have been taught during our study (college and Uni), all about those 4Ps and things like that, are not applicable in real world. I do believe that meeting customers expectations and needs is more important that all marketing principles.

    By know that people looking for a clear table, and a table that is easy to clean and maintain, this kiosk owner was smart by apply table clothes. Music is everyone favorite, especially if you can control the volume.

    Great thinking and great work and great article πŸ™‚

    • Hi Zaid,

      Yes, the 4Ps are important, but you should add #5 “the purple cow” (according to Seth Godin). And the purple cow is about being remarkable. Adding all the tiny details like Martin is doing, that’s part of the purple cow πŸ™‚

  4. Joseph Hipolito says:

    Wow that place was really cool the ambiance was really perfect for bonding…

  5. Louise Boylen says:

    You’re right Jens. It’s often little things that add value, enhance your brand and yet cost very little to provide. Small improvements and courtesies have certainly made a difference in our little accommodation business in beautiful Montville in Queensland, Australia.

    • That sounds great. I would love to get some examples of what you’ve done to your business. Do you have a few (tiny) examples? πŸ™‚

      • We’ve added things like latest magazines in our cottages, locally roasted Montville Coffee, milk from the local dairy company, menus of local restaurants. We eat regularly at local restaurants and cafes so we can recommend them to guests and send the guests to the restaurants that they’re most likely to enjoy. In the tourist accommodation business, having the confidence to make those recommendations is important. Knowing your region and suggesting restaurants, galleries, walking trails.

        • Hi Louise,

          That’s exactly what I love about places I visit. If there’s a personal touch and personal recommendations, I always listen and visit the places that are recommended and eat where you recommend. It sounds like you’re doing an awesome job πŸ™‚

          I’ve seen somewhere in Sweden that a few small accomodation businesses are promoting each other and recommending their customers to visit their “favorite” other places to stay around the country. And, I have also seen a few that have added themes, like a vegetarian week, yoga week etc..

          Do you have a website? I’d love to read more about your business.

  6. Very interesting post. It’s the little things that really add a lot to the overall experience. It would be cool if you turned this into more of a case study. For example, how much business Martin was bringing in before and after his changes.

    Hope you continue to enjoy your vacation πŸ™‚

  7. If only all of us with something to give could see how these little details will attract an audience to soak up what we are offering. Thanks for a beautiful and informative post.

  8. Hajra says:


    Looks like you are having a beautiful summer! Happy for you!

    Loved how you mention the hidden lessons in there. Meeting customer expectations and their needs is one very important aspect. I once went for a vacation to a really cold place and I have never lived in cold areas. So I kept telling my friend how cold my feet were in spite of the warm socks. The hotel staff might have over heard me and they sent me a pair of brand new thermal socks and it had my name printed on it! Courtesy the hotel!

    Seems like some people do go the extra step! And that is a great business strategy. T

  9. Bill Dorman says:

    But did Martin add pizza?

    Cool story; today is Friday so that means pizza night for me. Trying to decide if it will be Domino’s or a local (very good) place called J Burns. Hmmmm…..too many choices…..:).

    I hope you have a good weekend sir.

    • He hasn’t added pizza, at least not yet πŸ™‚

      I ate an awesome pizza yesterday. I was in Sweden and it’s an awesome pizza restaurant in StrΓΆmstad πŸ™‚

      Have a great weekend.

  10. Ralph says:

    Jens, very cute post. Love it.

    Like many I love that Martin saw the opportunities to improve his offering. It shows that he cares about his customers which in the world of everyday business can get easily lost. More often than not we tend to focus on the bottom line and not think of the small things that make you outshine the competition.

    Next! Pizza. I have to admit. I see Bill mention pizza to you all the time and I am not around here often enough to get the reference. I am guessing you are a big pizza fan. Right?

    • Hi Ralph,

      Yes, I am a huge pizza fan and it’s my favorite type of food. And Bill loves pizza too, and he knows that every time he mentions pizza I get hungry, and that’s why he keeps doing it all the time πŸ™‚

      Martin has done an awesome job with the kiosk, and just by showing that he cares, he is doing a remarkable job.

  11. Junaid Ahmed says:

    Nice post. This is a small things that really add a lot to the full experience. It would be cool if you turned this into more of a case study.

  12. Steven says:

    Hello Jens,

    Thanks for sharing Martin’s marketing mindset. He has a great sense of humor. He knows the need of the people when it comes to raining or sunshine. Music is the flavor he put. I love his mindset.


  13. Adrienne says:

    Hey Jens,

    I love how you take wherever you are and give us a lesson on marketing.

    I was over at a friends blog last week and she was talking about having a conversation with a guy who didn’t quite understand marketing. He claimed to have a very successful offline business yet he didn’t understand that everything you do and say is a form of marketing. I always love how you give us everyday examples of this same thing.

    Glad you’re enjoying your vacation and teaching us all while you’re there.

    Enjoy your week Jens!


    • Hey Adrienne,

      I love talking to people who claims to know everything about marketing πŸ™‚

      To me, marketing is more about relations than ever before, and some of the people I talk to that knows “everything” doesn’t even talk to their customers πŸ™‚

      Thank you so much for your support. I’m having a wonderful time in the sun/rain.

  14. Gwen says:

    It took me awhile to get the tiny details in marketing bit because I was so caught up in the idea of standing in the rain just enjoying the moment. Hahaha. I guess that settles it. I’m more of an artist than a marketer. I’ve been trying to learn to be a better marketer but I’m finding this the toughest challenge of my life.

  15. Francis says:

    I definitely love how Martin manages simple things. Learning to appreciate small things is one of the key to marketing. There’s a saying “do the best with whatever you have”. Thank you for the great example.


  16. A.J. Miles says:

    Thank you for this great article. I love taking small things into consideration. I’m very appreciative in small things especially when it comes to business. That’s the mindset of the Chinese people but i’m no Chinese. Learning to appreciate little stuffs is a mile away towards your big success.

  17. BJ says:

    Sometimes, as cliche as it may sound initially, it really is the little things in life that, if you take the time to notice them, can brighten up your mood and day.

    Take the table clothes that Martin put in place in your story above, for example. How often would we all fly through life and not even notice a small attention to detail like that. It’s good to see that, even in the busy, hectic world we’re all trying to live in Jens, you’re still one of the ones who are capable of stopping for a moment to smell the proverbial roses! πŸ™‚


    • I believe that most of us do notice the small things, we just don’t realize that we do. So, even though we don’t talk about the details that Martin added, we do see it and notice it and it becomes part of our decision that Martin’s place is an awesome place to shop πŸ™‚

  18. Darcy says:

    Adding the speakers by itself would have added a new element to the whole place, I’d imagine. Music can make or break a mood and with the right blend of tunes at the right, relaxing volume, I’m sure that Martin has added a new element to an already popular spot, making it a nicer place to visit and – more importantly – to stay for a while! πŸ™‚

  19. Jack says:

    We had a similar situation with a guy who bought the local bakery down near our beach house. The place was already fairly popular because of it’s location and all, but the new owners seemed a little more friendly than the previous ones and introduced a few, small personal changes like added some tables and chairs to opt to sit in and eat if you wanted to. Like you said, mate, it is all about making people feel welcome and I can tell you I head down to that bakery more now than I ever did before – probably a little too much according to my ever-increasing waistline! πŸ™‚

  20. edward says:

    Clearly depicted the simple and the correct way of the execution of the “marketing” phase of this hotel.Excellent work .
    Check this out to buy instagram followers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe: rss | email | twitter | +