By Ken Gasque
The phrase “Good enough isn’t” was coined by Los Angles advertising agency Chiat/Day and emblazoned on employee tee shirts. Chiat/Day was trying to keep up with its innovative account Apple Computer and Steve Jobs perfectionist philosophy…which is unattainable.
Walter Isaacson is Steve Jobs biographer. In his book, Steve Jobs, he gives an example of Jobs drive for perfection: “Steve in his first stint at Apple, was such a perfectionist that he holds up shipping the original Macintosh because he doesn’t think the circuit board inside is pretty enough. Even though nobody will ever see it. And after a while, he gets fired from Apple because he’s such a perfectionist. And he would say, “Well, real artists sign their work,” meaning they have to wait until they are perfect before they ship. When he comes back to Apple at the end of the 1990’s, they give him a new motto, which is, “Real artists ship.”
Most companies don’t have this kind of drive for profection (they wouldn’t last if they did). Most merely use boastful advertising that claims a product or service to be the best. It is boring, unbelievable and, more likely than not, to be a turnoff. Why? Because the advertiser usually can’t prove that their claim is true and that they really are the best, even if they are. Do we really care?
However, We have a client that does provide the best product in his category. No, he really does. He spends thousands of dollars yearly conducting tests and having outside labs conduct tests to prove his product is the best. Is his product the best? Absolutely, but it is only marginally. Sometimes the difference between being the best and being second best or “pretty good” is very insignificant, measurable only in the lab by a trained technician with some very sophisticated measuring equipment. The difference is maybe 2% better. The costs for that extra 2% is about 20% more than the competitors product.
Quality is important, but the consumer does not pay much attention to claims that “We Are The Best!” and usually they can’t tell the difference.
Think about your own experiences. If you are searching for a service do you start out looking for the very best? Doubtful. Do you compare and analyze services? Probably not. If you are looking for a printer do you run tests to determine the best printer? Or if you are looking for a dry cleaner, or accountant, or coffee vendor, or yard maintenance person do you spend much time looking for the best?
Your advertising and marketing should help you develop a brand that makes the customer feel “pretty good” about your product or service. Do not misunderstand; you still have to provide the best you can. Your product has to be quality, your service has to be fantastic and you have to be there to back it up. But all of that is expected. Your branding needs to help the customer experience the brand, enjoy it and feel that it is “pretty good.”
About Ken Gasque
Ken Gasque is a brand image-maker, marketing planner and designer. Ken works with small companies and Fortune 500 companies who recognize the need to differentiate their products and services to stand out in a cluttered market. Ken is a highly visual, outside-the-box-thinker on advertising, branding and marketing—his work reflects his belief that “We buy with our eyes.” Ken writes and lectures on brands, design, images and brand development. We build brands using knowledge, experience and magic!