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“Good Enough” is No Longer Good Enough

April 2017

A few decades ago, the idea of “satisficing” emerged, after a US Nobel-laureate economist, Herbert Simon wrote a book on the subject called, Models of Bounded Rationality and Other Topics in Economics. In marketing, satisficing is the concept that consumers are inclined more toward satisfactory decisions instead of the ‘best’ decisions due to three factors:

  1. You only have a set amount of information on any subject available to your brain at any time (unless you are the fictional Dr. Reed in Criminal Minds)
  2. Your brain has a limited amount of processing it can handle at any given time (picture a parent trying to manage unruly kids while talking to a sales clerk)
  3. You only have so much time to make a decision (ask any New Yorker in a deli line at lunch hour)

Therefore, you need to satisfice or do the best you can in a complex situation with what you have (bounded rationality). It is a function of the human brain to turn these situations over to simple rules of thumb to help it get through the decision-making process with the least amount of effort. This is a critical brain function and it works exceptionally well.

Problem is, this has made certain business professionals complacent and lazy. 

As if the very notion of satisficing gives them an excuse not to innovate. I’ve heard seasoned user experienced professionals make pronouncements to my face such as, “We only need to have ‘good enough’ to satisfice their needs. Let’s not push them with any new features.” Great attitude. 

And people wonder why most websites are all looking the same.

All of which leads us back to our headline. Good enough is no longer good enough. Despite these limitations, people are researching more (mostly online) and demanding more from companies. And despite not reading past the first three results on page one of any Google search, people are reading reviews of products, services, and companies—even if they are basing their judgments solely on the star ratings.

Simply put, your product or service needs to be more than good. Your site has to load faster than ever before. Your offering needs to fit in a single-sentence elevator pitch. Your brand needs to be recognizable and provide a shareable experience. Your logo needs to be cool enough to get a tattoo of.

At Element5, we make sure our clients hit on all of those criteria. And while we can’t convince all our clients to update their logos, almost all of them have made sincere efforts (with our guidance and help) to improve their brand and digital experiences. If your brand or digital experience could use a makeover, contact us. That’s what we do. And if we’re not the right fit for your brand, we’ll find someone who is.

We’re still working on getting our clients tattooed. Change takes time.

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