The Babushka Principle

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Everyone likes a Babushka doll, even though there are no real surprises about what’s in the middle. So, why the fascination with a big object that gets increasingly smaller and smaller but always stays relatively the same? There’s the cute factor, no doubt. But there’s also the power of the details. We’re fascinated by details, we remember details (this assumes they’re worth remembering); mostly because they’re specific and more vivid. Your first impression of the Babushka Doll is generalized. As you get into the deeper layers you start to marvel at how an artist could replicate something so intricate in such a small form. Someone who has a life changing experience, good or bad, might block out the larger event, but the specifics endure; seeing a tattoo of a mermaid on a brawny arm or the smell of lilac from a perfume wafting through the air. The moments last but the full experience slips away.

The clients I work with expect me to bring them big Babushka dolls. They want the big ideas. I can understand how it’s tempting to go big first. The truth is that big, beautiful ideas will resonate hard and fast and likely bring new clients to your business. On the other hand, getting the small things right will always turn clients into fans and prospects into a loving community. How do you greet people at your business? What’s the first thing I see when I walk in? Did you remember to ask me how my ailing father was or are you just processing me through a queue? Did you send along a hand written thank you note in the shipment of a product to a new client (or a repeat client for that matter)?

Before you think about going big or going home with a flashy new marketing campaign, ask yourself if you got every little thing as close to very right as possible. Are you winning adoring fans by creating meaningful memories that will last?