Manager Jim Goodwin wants St Mirren to follow the likes of Livingston and Motherwell by "overachieving" to deliver a top-six finish.
The Buddies are currently eighth in the Premiership, four points off sixth place but with games in hand.
Goodwin insists merely surviving in the division cannot be classed as success if the club is to move forward.
"I've assembled a squad who should collectively be thinking about the top half of the table," Goodwin said.
"If they're not they shouldn't be here, quite frankly. Our message from day one has been that we're not satisfied with just surviving anymore.
"The club are trying to move forward. We finished eighth last year and if we don't finish higher this season then it won't be a success."
Motherwell finished third last season and Livingston are on course to emulate their fifth-place finish again in the current campaign.
Goodwin says clubs should not use budget constraints as an excuse to lower expectations.
"I think there's great examples of clubs similar to ourselves who have done it in recent years," he explained. "You might argue Kilmarnock are a slightly bigger club than ourselves but I wouldn't say there's a great deal between us, and under Steve Clarke they had top four finishes a couple of seasons in a row.
"Motherwell last year, again I don't think there's a great deal between us. Those two teams may have a slightly bigger budget than what we have, but when I look at the two squads on paper, I think we should be trying to do similar to what Motherwell did last year.
"Livingston finished fifth last year and look like achieving that again this season. There's great examples of clubs of a similar size, similar budget to ourselves, overachieving and that's what we need to be doing.
"Good managers and good teams always manage to overachieve. We want to force our way into that top half of the table."