Raise The Bar

Give people what the value most … then add different types of value to raise the bar.

 This strategy assumes that you are have already Excel at serving the primary needs of your target market.  In High Convenience markets offer easy availability and low price.  In Premium Quality, have a superior product. 

But what if you are still running neck and neck with competitors?

Look to the other marketplace for inspiration.  If you offer a High Convenience product, improve the quality or add features.   If you offer a Premium Quality product, make it more easily available.

Added features can are tie breakers.  When two fast food chains both offer convenient locations, fast service, and low prices … the one with the better food can win the competition.  In effect, they redefine what’s “Good Enough” for a consumer.  

There is a danger in this strategy.  It is easy to end up is in the Mushy Middle, trading off excellent performance in the core market drivers for a compromised position that is unexceptional in both quality and convenience. 

You must continue to deliver on the central priorities of your marketplace.  Beware of the cost of new features.   Premium brands are diminished by the appearance of mass market convenience and few people are willing to wait longer or pay more for “fast food”, even if the quality is modestly better.

This is a seductive strategy to leaders in a marketplace, even with its risks.  Premium Quality providers eye the large High Convenience marketplace with avarice.  High Convenience players long for the juicy profit margins of premium products.   They seek to cross over into the Neverland Market, being everything to everyone.   Instead of capturing both markets, the distraction and dilution of purpose leave them vulnerable on all sides.


Win by raising the bar on minimally acceptable performance. 

Good Read

Seth Godin discusses concepts surrounding buyer choices in “XXXXXX” .      Lexus and the Olive Tree?

Brainstorming Questions

  • Are we already excellent in what matters (High Convenience, Premium Quality)?
  • What are the compromises that person makes with this product?
  • How could the value be improved?
  • What would the cost be to the core areas of excellence?
  • Are we fooling ourselves, pursuing a “Neverland” market ?
  • Are we moving into a mushy middle of unexceptional quality and convenience?

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