There is a great talk on TED.com called ‘Sweat the small stuff. It’s all about the small things that make a difference. For instance Virgin Atlantic Upper Class have some rather beautiful salt and pepper pots made out of silver with the words ‘stolen from Virgin Atlantic Upper Class‘ under them.

It made us smile too when we first heard it.

The Painting above is by Mark Gertler. It’s my favourite painting. I love it.

At first it appears to be a rather beautiful, colourful image of a Merry Go Round. Closer inspection reveals a hidden depth. The figures are all soldiers, all on a merry go round that they can’t get off, all with their mouths open in horror.

The subtlety is what makes it memorable.

There isn’t much subtlety these days. It’s underused. Branding and design is very often about the veneer. Remember the jokes lolly sticks? Or the little blue packets of salt in Smiths Crisps? Where are the extra layers of engagement these days?

Aren’t little surprises nice? Like when you discover that you phone could do THAT. Or you worked out what that button was for in your car. Or perhaps when you discovered the little arrow in the FEDEX Identity.

Of course, not everyone will get it, it won’t be immediate, but over time it could just mean the difference between you being something people love or something people just buy.

And we all want to be loved don’t we?

The original painting by Mark Gertler 1916, Tate Modern, London, viewable in Kenwood House, Hampstead, London