Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Good Enough Isn't.

Companies apply similar research methodologies to the outputs of similar technologies in order to determine what products and services appeal to a "representative" sample of the population. The resultant commoditisation of many categories is magnified by a fascination with brand extension and me-tooism, those avenues of least resistance that are simple to achieve and seemingly speak to an existing niche. It's a beige world.

To counter this, the trend has increasingly been to add functionality because technology allows it and because, in the world of the focus group, "less is more" only when more is unavailable. The resultant complication leaves consumers bewildered by feature fatigue and early-adopters increasingly unwilling to conform to their sterotype. It's a resistable world.

The entirely logical suggestion that follows (and was most recently outlined by Seth Godin) is that Good Enough is the new black because today Good Enough encompasses a considerable degree of functonality and sophistication and speaks to the inherent human trait of satisficing. Unfortunately Good Enough isn't. It isn't good enough because no one feels passionately about Good Enough and it isn't good enough because Good Enough is replicable and will quickly become a commodity.

The future is Good Enough Plus. Offerings that are functionally good enough but stand out because of their experiential oomph. That unique experience which separates the extraordinary from the good enough may be derived from one or many of the following.

Exceptional Design
Generating a positive emotional reaction and/or simplifying use.

Extraordinary Service
Standing out in itself and/or highlighting the competition's failings.

Extra Functionality
Easily discoverable without impinging upon the good enough experience.

These are the key parameters of competitive advantage today and ignoring them simply isn't good enough.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree fully. So much so, that I posted, effectively, the same thing yesterday.

I find that extra features on a product get added because Product Managers don't know how to sell a product. As you alluded to, they follow the focus group heard like lemmings over a cliff.

The only way "good enough" is good enough is if the product fulfills the end users needs fully, without hassel. Think "less is more" as opposed to "good enough".

9:13 AM, August 24, 2006  

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