Sometimes Good Is Better Than Brilliant

Have you ever heard of VF Corporation? Well, I hadn’t heard of the company until I read an article in Fortune magazine called How a 100-year-old apparel firm changed course. It turns out that VF owns a bunch of familiar brands like Vans, Lee, Wrangler, Nautica, Eastpak, Reef, and The North Face. The article talks about how VF converted its strategy to focus on “lifestyle brands” that appeal to consumers’ desires for fashion and status.

While discussing how the company shifted its strategy, Mackey McDonald, Chairman of VF Corp, provided this fantastic insight:

We realized we didn’t have to come up with brilliant ideas – we needed brilliant ways of executing good ideas.

My take: Very well said! I expect to be repeating this quote a lot in the future. It captures two concepts that I think are important:

  1. You often get the most bang from your buck (or ROI on your effort) if you figure out what is “good enough.” (The 80/20 rule)
  2. You should focus your efforts on things that you can actually implement.

The bottom line: Hopefully you found this post to be good, or at least brilliant.

Written by 

I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

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