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« Hard sell at the farmer's market | Main | Not the first sale, the second »

The trend to "best available"

Most customers choose between "good enough" and "best available"

My guess is that before the consumer culture took hold, good enough was the order of the day. Without a lot of lists, rankings, options and varieties, good enough would have to do.

Good enough was the core of a lot of markets... from accounting firms to flour and sugar.

Between human nature and spoiled baby boomers, best available appears to be taking over.

Zales jewelry stores misunderstood this. They saw the growth of Tiffany's as an indication that consumers wanted to spend a lot for jewelry, so they relentlessly upgraded pricing and selection. They failed in their attempt to grow market share and profits, fired the CEO and retrenched. Why? Because expensive Zales jewelry is neither good enough nor the best available. It was in a horrible middle ground.

Customers who seek out good enough can be satisfied, which is good, but rarely upgrade, which, for the marketer, is not so good. Marketers who try to be best available have an ongoing competition problem, though, because best available is a hard position to sustain.

Which now, in our era of the $12,000 cell phone, leads us to a new position: "best available (within reason)." What never ceases to amaze me is how extravagant consumers are willing to be when they define "within reason." Maybe a $300 nylon messenger bag is within reason. Maybe a $400 million CEO paycheck is within reason. We keep redefining reasonable all the way to the bank.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The trend to "best available":

» Best available, more then good enough? from Meandering Passage
When you go shopping for a product which rule do you use, Good Enough or Best Available. As I was growing up and my parents were trying to raise kids and purchase those things that we needed, as well as every once in a while also purchase a few things ... [Read More]

» Small World Part Two - Best Available from erniesblog
Today, Seth writes about the Trend to be the Best Available. Interesting position. For some products/services, I think it's probably a really good way of looking at things. It certainly opens doors to some markets, especially if you market geographically. [Read More]

» Best in class, not necessarily best available from Random Key Strike
Seth Godins post about the idea of consumer priorities shifting to best available, as he puts it, sounds mostly right, but when he talks about $12,000 cell phones as an example, I wonder if hes just picked a bad example or p... [Read More]

» "Good enough" vs. "Best Available" from EntrepreneurEvolution
Seth Godin hits on the rise of the mass affluent in his recent post about good enough v. Best available.The mass affluent and affluent are my key demographics of interest at this time because of my country club fitness coaching... [Read More]

» Be the Best Available from How to Start a Software Company Without Really Trying
There are only two (profitable) markets. The cheapest available and the best available. Play the middle ground and you play to lose. Seth hits the mark again . Imagine how much it would have been to hire this guy before blogs? Now you can get his head fo [Read More]

» Name Experiment from Experiments - Trial by FIRE!
People don't call folks serving them by name. Examples are restaurants, shops and public services. As a customer, I started addressing these folks by their name. So I either look for it on the tag or bill or just simply [Read More]

» dfg34hdb from figlio
altezza media andrologica perito acustico fangosa [Read More]

« Hard sell at the farmer's market | Main | Not the first sale, the second »