Some brands are perfectly content being just okay.
And we buy from them because there’s a huge market for just okay products. It could be because of their price or the overall quality of the thing. Just okay passes muster for many.
Today at the grocery store I fell victim to just okay. I was in a hurry to grab what I needed and get on with things. I went in to buy lunch — something quick, relatively nutritious, and tasty. Hot and cheesy sounded good, so when I found myself standing in front of the freezer case full of single serving boxes covered with beautifully photographed meals, my eyes landed on a lasagna brand I have a long and happy history with.
Two shelves down was also a brand I’m familiar with, the store brand. It was on sale. Two dollars less than my favorite [premium] brand.
I went for the savings.
What I saved in dollars I definitely did not save in taste, presentation, or eating experience. Not only was the store brand too saucy for me, the lasagna noodles were doughy and there was barely a sprinkle of mozzarella on top. So much for cheesy.
I ate two bites before tossing the rest in the garbage.
Microwave meals have come a long way since the days when they were called TV dinners. I’ve enjoyed many one-serving entrees that over delivered in nutritional value, texture, and taste. But I’ve paid a premium for those — the great ones — ones created by companies who strive for excellence and produce accordingly. Sure, it costs a little more on the front end, but I have yet to regret it.
In certain circumstances, you can get away with the store brand, with being just okay.
More times than not, though, it pays to pay more up front for excellence — and get everything you were looking for at the start.
I see this happen all the time in business. Companies settling for just okay in exchange for a short term [perceived] gain up front. Saving money. Or time.
Sometimes you can get lucky and the average turns out to over-deliver.
But is that the best approach for the long-game? How soon before luck runs out?