3 Reasons To Strive For Average

Average is an objective, mathematical concept. In layman’s terms, it represents the majority. Yet in real life, our perceptions of ‘average’ differ to this definition.

Average becomes a bad thing. We are very keen not to be seen as average. We don’t want to be average at our jobs, look average or lead average lives.

Business owners and marketers certainly don’t want their brands to be just average.

If someone rates a product out of 10, 5 should represent average. It’s neither the best, nor the worst: it’s bang in the middle. But quite often in conversation, we perceive the numbers 6 and 7 on a scale of 1 – 10 as average. 5 or less would be rather an insult.

What does this say about how we think of ‘average’?

It’s a negative thing. Not an aspiration or target, but somewhere we happen to end up by accident and desperately strive to get away from.

But what if we provide you with 3 reasons that average is not a bad thing? It’s not even mediocre. In fact, it could be your new target.

#1 Average ranks you amongst your peers.

This provides you with a bench mark. A realistic goal to know that actually, you’re doing well. In business we measure ourselves against the success of our competitors. It is important to know where we stand by comparing ourselves to the average successes in our industry or sector.

What marks success for you might vary. It might depend on profit margins (to a large extent it probably does), but it could also depend on business expansion, hiring and investing, to provide a higher level of service, and so on.

Once we reach average, we can then set our sights higher and want more. But average has to be our first goal. Or else we’re just less than average. We’re worse than everybody else. We’re left behind.

Average is a useful measurement, not a disappointing diagnosis. It marks what most people consider their best. It’s a step on the ladder to business success.

#2 Eighteen months.

That is the average job tenure of a marketing executive in 2013. 18 months.

This is an average most would actually care to avoid applying to themselves.

Why so low? Marketers storm into their new posts and have the world demanded of them. The board, paying their wages, expect to see staggering results as soon as possible.

The reaction of these top marketing executives is to blow everyone out of the water with fantastical new ideas that completely rethink branding.

Branding is the central issue here.

A recent study by Sign Salad has found that people prefer brands with a stable, dependable image. Constantly changing your marketing message can actually be a turn off for consumers, 75% of whom prefer mid-level brands like Kellogg’s and Nescafe because they can trust them to deliver.

#3 Know your brand.

How does this dog-eat-dog world of corporate branding relate to small and medium-sized businesses?

Seth Godin, author of Purple Cow argues marketers should opt for the interesting, the never-seen-before spectacle. But this new research demonstrates that such tactics can often be perceived as gimmicky.

Here, average becomes desirable.

Market your service or product with a strong sense of brand identity. If you know who you are, your customers will identify with you. Being perceived as a stolid, unremarkable (a word that sounds very negative) brand can actually work in your favour.

It’s all about crafting a lasting image that will resonate with consumers for years to come. This way, you can ensure that the longevity of your business surpasses the average, rather than an out-of-the-ordinary but short-lived and faddy marketing campaign.

Let us know what you think.

Visit our Twitter page and let us know if you think flashy marketing really can be out done by a slow and steady approach.

Do outlandish branding efforts belong only in the arena of big business, and even then only sometimes? Or can the long game be played while small brands push boundaries?

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