The Myth of Excellence

In the book “The Myth of Excellence: Why Great Companies Never Try to be the Best at Everything,” by Fred Crawford & Ryan Mathews, the authors contest that :

“We assumed that consumers wanted the absolute lowest prices, the very best products, and lots of value-added services. We also expected them to tell us that they wanted shopping to be fun and entertaining.

We were in for a shock.”

Here is a preview of the myths:

  1. The Mythology of Price: Business brags about cheap, but people value honest
    People are less concerned about getting the lowest price than they are with getting a fair and honest price. In other words, consumers want a price that is consistent and that doesn’t appear to have been artificially increased or decreased at the expense of other things that they want to buy.
  2. Setting the Service Bar: Walk your Talk
    ‘Special’ services that ‘add-value’ are useless if companies can’t successfully serve customers’ basic, everyday requests. Customers want to be recognized as individuals and know that the company they are dealing with is willing to customize its offerings to their individual needs.
  3. Access: It ain’t just location anymore
    Today, consumers care more about navigation – physical and psychological – than mere geographic location. Offer too much in the way of selection or distraction, and companies run the risk of making the most important aspect of access, the customer’s ability to actually locate and buy, too high a hurdle.
  4. The Real meaning of Experience: Intimacy matters
    Consumers want respect, to be treated like a human being, and to be offered unique products or services.
  5. Product: Your best just isn’t good enough
    Just because a company thinks that its products are the best doesn’t necessarily mean that they dominate the consumer’s consciousness. Consistently good product is more desirable than a single ‘best’ offering.