One of the first things that attracted me to the marketing and advertising profession was a ketchup bottle. Sound weird? It’s true—before picking a major and packing up for college, I was walking through a grocery store and some Heinz ketchup labels caught my eye.

Rather than simply the logo and product name plastered to the package, there was an assortment of fun, personality-infused messages about all of the reasons why we love ketchup. On a first name basis with onion rings. Meatloaf enhancer. And many more.

It struck me how something as seemingly small as a ketchup bottle label could have such an impact on me, the customer—and how none of Heinz’s competitors had thought to customize that small part of my experience with their products.

Heinz isn’t the only company that’s tapped into this kind of opportunity. A former colleague of mine used to collect the stickers from Chiquita bananas and stick them up all over the bottom of her iMac. I was once pleasantly surprised when putting on a pair of jeans and seeing “You’re beautiful” stitched on the inside of the waistband. And who doesn’t love looking for the Google Doodle on holidays?

This kind of attention to detail may be most noticeable in consumer marketing, but the same opportunities to surprise and impress your target audiences abound in B2B. We’re still talking to consumers, and consumers are always looking for companies who go above and beyond their expectations.

Start by thinking about every time a customer interacts with your company. List out every touch point from the time a prospect first learns about your product or service through when the sales cycle is complete—and remember that there’s no such thing as “too small” when it comes to a customer’s experience with your brand!

After you have your list, consider what opportunities you have to get creative and better communicate your brand’s personality or your product’s features and benefits.

  • How do you answer your phones?
  • What does your email signature say?
  • Are there places inside your facility for unique signage?
  • What about your product packaging is interesting?
  • What do your employee uniforms look like?
  • What happens after your product or service is delivered?
  • What tools or resources can you provide your audience?

For instance, at VantagePoint, our guest wireless password is a strategic three-word phrase rather than a random string of letters and numbers. (I can only tell you what it is if you ever come for a visit!)

So, today I challenge you to stop looking at letterhead as paper you print on or your lobby walls as structural necessities—instead, start considering every moment a customer encounters as an opportunity to catch their interest, impress them and, ultimately, earn more business.

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