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Why is saying you are a quality product so wrong when it’s so important?

February 4, 2013

Why is saying you are a quality product so wrong when it’s so important?

I had a famous creative director in London who said that ‘if you say you are a quality product, you are not’.     When my brother wanted to use it in his strapline for his framing business I said ‘Nooooo’.   The truth is when you see a business with quality in its name; you automatically think it won’t be.

But why?

We know that quality is an important attribute when buying in a range of categories.  We just finished our Women, Rituals and the impact on Brands Study (out next month) and found that a quality product was a key reward when buying grocery products.  In 2011 we conducted a study for a large Australian retailer that summarised quality was constantly in the top 2 reasons for buying that brand.  When you ask people who buy stuff what is important, quality seems to come up high in a lot of categories.  What is interesting is when you delve deeper into what quality means.

To a fashionista buying a dress it might be style and materials, to a mother buying her kids school uniforms it might be durability and for a dad buying new razors it might be a good price.

So to summarise quality as ‘quality’ really doesn’t tell the buyer what it is they are buying.

Why is quality important then?  It helps determine business success:

  • Customers will make repeat purchases, recommend the product or service to others and may even become an advocate of your brand
  • Your brand will be known for delivering a great customer experience
  • Others might want to stock your product
  • Your business will be known for delivering value for money and you may be able to gradually increase your prices
  • There will be fewer returns and replacements that increase your cost base
  • It will help to attract good people and build internal advocates

So quality is important yet hard to define.   What should a business do to capture quality as part of their brand and experience?

  1. Find out from your customers how they define quality in your category and understand how important it is
  2. Build it into your brand attributes and customer experience
  3. Measure it to make sure you are delivering it
  4. Evolve it so that it continues to meet the needs of your key tribes





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