I Did Not Want the Matryoshka Dolls
September 20, 2016 by Maria Ford
This Summer, I traveled across Russia on the Trans-Siberian Railway. It was an epic trip.
Many people asked me before I left, “Are you going to buy some Matryoshka dolls?” And I said no, it was not on my list of things to acquire in life. I generally don’t like little things, clutter, and kitsch … so why on Earth did I buy a set of Matryoshka dolls?!
Here’s why. After seeing shelves and shelves of Matryoshka dolls of all sizes, colours and designs everywhere we went, this one set of dolls stood out from all the rest.
I found these dolls irresistible because of two features:
- Uniqueness. Each doll in the set has a different facial expression. All the others I saw were identical within their set.
- Novelty. This set has 10 dolls, the smallest being about the size of a lentil. As I opened it up, three times the store owner had to encourage me to keep going.
So, I returned with the most cliché of commodity tourist souvenirs and I’m not even ashamed of it. Imagine that – a commodity item actually standing out among thousands of its peers. Businesses and marketers could all learn from this, surely?!
I love showing the dolls to people because I know that they defy expectations! They give me a kind of bragging right, and I enjoy it when people ask, “Did you buy some Matryoshka dolls?” and I say yes and then bring them out and share their uniqueness with others.
I think that’s what can be learned from this little story – the power of defying expectations. When your competition is putting on the pressure, or your customers are losing interest, brainstorm around how you can take “it” to a new level. The Matryoshka dolls I purchased aren’t just unique and novel – they are also a showcase of the craftsperson’s skill (minuscule lathe work) and creativity (10 different facial expressions).
At Kaszas Marketing & Communications, we are exceptionally creative when it comes to brainstorming on behalf of our clients. Whether it’s a smaller task like developing a direct-marketing campaign that will get results, or a larger task like reinventing a brand, our solutions are never cookie-cutter, and always on the mark. Please talk to us!