The Hardest Kind of More

June 1, 2009


Marketers and Bruce Dickenson both love ‘More’.

Mostly we focus on more feeds & speeds. Sometimes we promote more deeds. We don’t spend nearly enough time where it really matters – on meeting more needs.

Incremental More is more feeds and faster speeds. It’s a Toyota Prius going from 46 MPG in 2009 to 50 MPG in 2010. That’s a big deal in Engineering, but “gas mileage just got a little better” won’t get people talking. To grab attention you need to translate those feeds and speeds into First, Best or Most. Otherwise you’re like Gene Frenkel, loudly banging a More that no one cares about.

Different More is new deeds. The Prius in 2001 wasn’t positioned as improved mileage, but as a whole new way of achieving that gain. Done right, it gets people talking. But Different More can fall flat. Consumer electronics manufacturers have tried to position Blu-Ray as Different More, but outside of the home theater crowd it’s been received as Incremental More. In fact, it looks lame compared to the Different More of streaming and downloading.

More Fitting is the hardest kind of more because it’s about needs. Feeds, speeds and deeds are all within your control. Needs belong to the customer. More buttons and options are clear signs that you don’t know how to do More Fitting.  Subtract features (like the first iPod shuffle did)  just as a tailor subtracts fabric in the right places to create a suit fitted to the needs of the customer.

More Fitting is hard to trump. Would you trade a well-tailored suit that fits your needs (and body type) perfectly for an off-the-rack suit with Incremental More thread count or Different More styling? I wouldn’t.

What could you subtract from your product positioning that would result in More Fitting and higher customer loyalty? How are you connecting with your customers today so you know their needs?

photo by flick


2 Responses to “The Hardest Kind of More”

  1. Tim Walker Says:

    Good stuff, Russ. Have you been reading Matt May’s blog (and book)? See his site:

    Grand thesis: subtract.

  2. rsomers Says:

    I hadn’t read Matt’s stuff before. But rest assured that I will now – he’s got a thought-provoking approach and I love the way he applies his concepts to a wide range of subject matters (including Jackson Pollock)

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