For us marketers it seems like great success is underpinned by great luck. We have to hit the audience at just the right moment, and so many little things which we can't control will undermine our success.
Baskin is correct in saying you can learn more from studying almost-ran case studies and attending to what went wrong. You can learn to plan to avoid pitfalls better than you can plan for a bolt of lightening.
Baskin Dim Bulb branding: You Get More From Almost Great Ideas. 2009-Nov-9, by Jonathan Salem Baskin
I'd challenge you to understand the almost great ideas...really smart, strategic programs that were well conceived, delivered, and then stopped short of realizing their full potential:
You need to deconstruct what happened in order to truly envision what's possible. I think you'll get more from almost great ideas.
- Viral videos that got watched a lot, but stopped short of prompting a sale (or getting consumers tangibly and reliably closer to one).
- Promotional campaigns that seemed too good to be true (promise overload that defied belief).
- A customer service problem that was adequately fixed, but not extended into a sales opportunity.
- Contributions from unlikely sources, like distribution or finance.