When Good Enough Will Do: The “MP3 Effect”
I read a very interesting article in this month’s Wired magazine (which can also be found online) about the “MP3 effect”; i.e. the current trend towards cheap and simple being good enough.
It’s been coined the “MP3 effect” because MP3s are a classic example of the principle in practice: Digital music files have become popular to the point where traditional studios have had to rethink how they distribute music or risk declining sales, even though CDs offer a far superior sound quality to MP3s. As the article says, “we now favor flexibility over high fidelity”.
It seems being superior doesn’t matter so much anymore – in the tech world anyway. What consumers want – what you and I want – is simplicity; accessibility; flexibility. We want to be able to use things here and now, quickly and easily.
I think this “good enough revolution” is an exciting prospect to apply to your business. I chat to business owners who are hesitant to adopt changes (usually technology driven changes in my case) in the way they do business with their customers, or in the tools they provide their staff, for fear of the new solution not being world-beating. But best-in-class needn’t be the goal here.
Perhaps it’s unrealistic to think you can afford a top-of-the-line CRM system with built in e-marketing features, but you could utilise a free blogging site with email subscription facilities to deliver simple communications directly to your customers – it might just be good enough, yet more than what your competitors do in terms of customer service efforts.
Can’t justify giving laptops to your sales force to work on presentation when at home? Consider utilising a free product like Windows Sharepoint Services, or a very affordable hosted solution like Microsoft Sharepoint Online, which gives staff access to office files by logging in from their own PCs at home. Another good enough solution your staff may come to love because it’s simple, accessible and flexible.
Technology solutions don’t have to be big complex beasts that rattle cages and gnaw away at budgets. Take note of what the bigger players out there in your market might be doing and think about how you could offer similar experiences that might take advantage of the good enough principle.
Have you seen the “MP3 effect” in practice in your line of business?