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We demand craft and attention to detail

April 26, 2011


Reading the Los Angeles Times story on Rockstar’s new game, L.A. Noire, it obviously comes across as nice PR for one of the most anticipated games of the year, but it also hints at just how demanding we’ve become as consumers.

The level of care, attention and research that Rockstar’s Bondi team are putting into this game is nothing short of extraordinary- tracking down 180,000 photographs of period LA, working out how big diners were from photographs and discovering that LA’s palm trees were only three ft tall at the time.

They are doing all this because we demand and expect it. Of course, game play is the all important x-factor, but given Rockstar’s brilliance in environment creation, these are games we are quite happy to just wander around in.

Attention to detail is now everywhere- from the phones we use, to our computers and we notice it in surprising places; like when we actually receive good service. Companies caring about the products and services they make and going the extra mile is often the difference between good and bad.

Another example is the clever move by J Crew to purchase many of its fabrics in Italy, but have the garments manufactured in China. It’s a tiny, but important demonstration of a commitment to quality. With their shoes- they’ve chosen to have them manufactured in Italy.

The important thing about attention to detail from brands and experiences, is the more you notice it, the greater you feel its absence when it’s not there. This means that while, it might be seemingly irrelevant to you that brands outside of your category might be improving their attention, but to consumers it’s just part of an experience. If they see enough care in their world, they will quickly notice when you aren’t doing your job properly.

Companies have gone on too long trying to squeeze costs and trim the fat to the point where it seems like there’s not much more to give.

With the uptick in the economy I sense that companies are now racing to improve their offerings and deliver something worthy. In the rush to improve and demonstrate care, there will doubtless be many who fail to realize the importance and languish on the sidelines.

One example of a company continuing to delight is Amazon, who almost made no apologies to Wall Street for their “poor” Q1 2011 results and instead justified their increased costs as a long-term strategy to continue to delight consumers, as Jeff Bezos stated….

“We love inventing on behalf of customers and have never been more excited about the long-term opportunities, products introduced by Amazon in the past 90 days include Kindle with Special Offers, Audible audio books on Kindle, Appstore for Android, Amazon for Windows Phone 7, Cloud Drive, Cloud Player, and Prime Instant Video.”

Posted by Ed Cotton

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