The Difference Between Average and Excellence



I was recently working with my son on a science project. I have realised over the past year, his natural tendency (and I think this is true for most 11 year old boys), is that ‘average’ is good enough. Unfortunately, it is not good enough in my household!

The challenge however, was not to assert my opinion, but to get him to see the implications of ‘average’, decide if he was happy doing average work and then try and guide him towards excellence.

I am not one of those mums that do the science project for their child – but I was willing to support and teach him how to do excellent work.

Excellence Only Takes A Little More Work Than Average

What he discovered, on our quest for excellence, is that to ‘present’ his work in an average way or to ‘present’ his work in an excellent way – both required almost the same amount of work.

He still had to do the experiment. He still had to type up the results. He still had to print the photos, design and print the results and paste everything onto the presentation board.

The difference was the ‘average’ presentation of his work looked like cr-p and brought down the quality of the whole project; whereas the ‘excellent’ presentation of his work lifted the quality of the whole project. It’s an interesting phenomenon.

The Difference Between Average and Excellence Applies To Produce Packaging Too

I think the key message from the science project applies to packaging too.

Think about the care and diligence you put into growing high quality, safe and healthy food. Getting the soil right, the variety right, the harvesting right and the packing right. It requires a lot of work.

If you ‘present’ this work in an average package, the shopper has no appreciation of the time, care and diligence you put into growing a specialty variety or a tastier, crunchier apple. An ‘average’ pack, one that re-states the obvious or doesn’t talk to the needs of the shopper, devalues your effort and dedication to producing quality food.

Instead, why not put more effort into your packaging and go for excellence? Achieving excellence in your branding, your on-pack message and your visual look requires only a small amount more effort.

To put it simply…

  • You need to understand your customer
  • You need to ID your key ‘buy me’ messages to motivate shoppers to purchase
  • You need to tell a compelling story that prompts consumers to buy.

If you are already marketing to shoppers via traditional or social media, then you have already done the research work. The key is to ensure the same research that fuels your marketing transfers to your packaging.

If you haven’t done the work, then invest a bit of time or money and do the work. It will pay dividends in multiple ways, your packaging being one recipient.

When there were 10,000 products on supermarket shelves competing for shopper attention, maybe average was good enough. Today however, with 45,000 products on the shelves and shoppers’ stomachs ‘full’, average isn’t good enough.

You have already done the work to grow a great product. Don’t settle for average – aim for excellence. The gap between the two is not that significant.

And remember, if you don’t want to do the work internally, outsource it. I do branding and packaging and key messaging work for companies because it’s what I am passionate about and what I’m good at. Call me or find a company that wants to help you – and together, achieve excellence with your packaging.