Marketing Unbundled Issue #4: Bigger or Better
At Brigham Young University (BYU), the students like to play a game called Bigger or Better.
Bigger or Better is a scavenger hunt, for (young) adults. Players divide into teams and start with something small like a toothpick then go door to door and ask people if they have something in their house that is slightly bigger or better than what they have.
If so, will they trade.
As the night goes on, and they continue to trade up, the objects become bigger and better. The toothpick turns into a pen, then into a hat, and at the end typically into something of pretty good value. In some cases it has been reported that they walk away with stereos, TVs or even a full size canoe.
If they had asked for a full-size canoe for a toothpick there is zero chance they would have been able to pull it off.
In his book “Smartcuts”, Shane Snow uses this story and others to illustrate the importance of small wins.
“One of the fastest-selling and transformative cellular phones in the world — the iPhone — was introduced by a personal computer company, at a time when the phone market was dominated by telecommunications firms. Nintendo began its life printing Japanese playing cards; the company brokered in taxis, instant rice, and hotels before it saw opportunity in the emerging American arcade scene.”
If you are a creator or entrepreneur, you aren’t going to be a marketing machine overnight. You need to start collecting small wins with your customers first.
This could be as small as a helpful how-to video on Instagram or getting them to sign up for a weekly newsletter.
“By itself, one small win may seem unimportant,” writes Dr. Karl Weick in a seminal paper for American Psychologist in 1984. “A series of wins at small but significant tasks, however, reveals a pattern that may attract allies, deter opponents, and lower resistance to subsequent proposals.” “Once a small win has been accomplished,” Weick continues, “forces are set in motion that favor another small win.”
The important thing is that you are making progress.
No matter how small…
…and you stick with it.
Darren Hardy, author of “The Compound Effect” says, “Small, smart choices, consistently applied over an extended period of time = HUGE results.”
What are some of your big marketing goals?
Now break them down into smaller ones…
and then break them down again…
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