Below The Bar

 Products or Services can fall Below The Bar with insufficient features and quality to compete even at discount prices.

 This model defines the lower bound to cost cutting and product obsolescence. 

“High Convenience” products and services are work under the assumption that once something is “good enough”, what matters are things like low cost, availability, and ease of use.  Like being thin in Beverly Hills, you can’t be too inexpensive, too accessible, or too easy. 

Unless you fall “Below The Bar”.  

People have standards … even people who shop for price.  With “Unlimited Choice”  buyers don’t have to buy something that fails to meet their basic needs.  Anything that falls below this bar, won’t be competitive even at lower prices.

Some products are designed and built to unacceptably low standards from the very beginning.  This is often done on the assumption that low price will make up for the shabbiness.  It doesn’t.  The “Bar” defines features and performance that consumers assume will be present.  Fail to deliver these creates a feeling of betrayal … a rip off. 

There is another danger.  The “Bar is Always Rising”.   As new technology and business models enter the marketplace, yesterday’s “Good Enough” becomes comparatively less desirable.  Products slip below the bar merely by standing still. 

Takeaway:

You can’t give away garbage. 

Good Reads: 

Seth Godin discusses concepts surrounding buyer choices in “XXXXXX” .      

Brainstorming Questions

  • What are the minimum expectations of the Buyer’s in this market?
  • Are we “Below The Bar”?  For the entire market?  Just part?
  • Has the bar been raised in this market?  By who?  In what ways?
  • Is there a market segment where this level of performance is still “good enough”? 
  • Should we abandon a “Below The Bar” endeavor or claw our way back up above the bar?

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