Last week I saw a billboard along an interstate that proclaimed: “Bigger isn’t better. Better is better.”  I wish I recalled the product or service it was promoting, but I don’t.  If you know, please clue me in.

Then not longer after that, I happened to hear a song from the Broadway musical Barnum that had these lyrics: Bigger isn’t always better. Taller isn’t braver. Stronger isn’t always wise. Smaller isn’t necessarily the lesser. Guts can come in any size.

It got me thinking about that billboard, and how it applies in so many ways, even in business.  We clamor for a bigger membership roster, for example, but bigger groups might mean you don’t get to know the members you do have.  We want bigger cars, but we complain about the cost of gas. Bigger businesses come with less personalization. I could easily come up with many ways that bigger wasn’t better.

Better is better, said the sign. Better service, better quality, better results? Or maybe it is only “more” that we are after. More opportunities, more recognition, more time.

And yet, bigger can be better sometimes.  It can offer some economies of scale or buying power that show up in lower prices (think WalMart),  for example. Bigger tv screens, bigger blooms on the azalea bush, bigger checks in the mail….

When a road sign can keep you thinking about it for days, it ought to mean something. I just wish I knew what or who it was trying to market to me. It clearly missed the mark on that.

What do you think?

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