The principle of "Good enough"
Robert Capps has a close to brilliant article in this month’s Wired Magazine, writing about the phenomena of things and services that don’t strive to be perfect but just good enough. It’s the old but highly relevant story of creating value stories instead of striving for perfection. His examples are covering a wide area: From traditional phone to Skype, from high end video cameras to the Flip, from military jets to drones, from books to the Kindle, from the traditional television to Hulu and from computers to netbooks.
Why is the principle of “Good enough” so successful? A few reasons:
- Over- Engineering: A lot of consumers never use all the functionalities that a particular product or services offers. In most usage occasions they only use a fraction of the overall offering. Today’s consumers have realized the myth of over-engineered products and are willing to get for a “Good enough” alternative.
- Accessibility beats Complexity. For a lot of consumer it’s more important to have an easy to use and ready available product or service, instead of spending a lot of time and energy to unlock all the different potential functions that a product might have.
- Value = Low price + sufficient quality. Consumers are more price conscious than a few years ago, so they are thinking twice before making a high price tag purchase decision. These “Good enough” products lower the threshold for a purchase, and they still provide good quality.
It would be an interesting research exercise to count the number of all marketing programs that a particular brand is launching in 2009 versus 2005 or 2000. My hypothesis is that most brands have a significant higher number of programs with a dramatically reduced expense number per program. The principle of “Good enough” will enter the marketer’s vocabulary faster than we can say ‘Web 2.0”.