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QUALITY; DO YOU UNDERSTAND IT.[infographics] Featured

QUALITY; DO YOU UNDERSTAND IT.[infographics] originally appeared in Muyiwa Afolabi's blog

Many times as a brand strategist I have many people approach me seeking
for my opinion about their product or services. Many, who have new
products or service they'd like to introduce bring it to me first;
wanting to know what I think before they push into the market.

In fact some establishments I consult for also share ideas of product
reinvention or brand extension with me, wanting to know what I feel or
think about it and most of the time, I find a fault with their opinion
and understanding of

quality.

Ladies and gentlemen, quality in English language is not the same as
quality in business language. In English language, quality is how good
or bad something is. It's that simple. In business, it's somewhat more
than that.

You see, every time we talk about quality, it is always a function of
comparison or relativity. Quality as an abstract noun would always
address maters of standards. Quality is the standard of something as
measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of
excellence of something.

The degree in quality of something is as measured against a standard.
You cannot measure the quality of the sun or the moon because it's just
one of its kind attached to our planet as it were.

Quality comes in measurement against existing or agreed standards.
However ladies and gentlemen, quality in business is still a little more
complicated than that.

You see many of us in business are quick to boast of the quality of our
products or service with so much confidence based on what we have put in
it and the efforts invested in creating the product or service.

Many of us define quality based on what we think it is. Ladies and
gentlemen, in business, quality is what the customer says it is, not
what you think or say it is. Only the customer can define the quality of
your product.

Let me explain this. You see, customers today demand the highest quality
for the most affordable price. That's how the mind of a typical buyer
works. A typical buyer.

Quality to today's customer is about the worth of the product in its
ability to satisfy their needs at an affordable price.

Quality today is about satisfaction and affordability. That's the law
and definition of quality in today's business. As a business man, if you
disregard this rule, I'm afraid your business can't last.

Let me tell you how this plays out. You see your customers are very
smart. Unfortunately, many business folks take them for granted.

Take your time to observe the behaviour of a customer or would-be buyer
in a sales outlet take for example, a boutique, a furniture showroom,
and electronic shop or a car sales outlet.

The products can be very beautiful and attractive and have the capacity
to satisfy, once its beyond what the customer is willing to pay for it,
in their opinion, it is overpriced.

Now hardly would a typical Nigerian customer tell you, the price is his
problem. Because most of us love to pretend to be what we are not, we
would tell you your product is good and your price is okay, we lie to
you because we don't want you to think we can't afford it. Then we tell
you we will come back later for it and we never do. Why, it's overpriced
in our opinion.

If 100 customers come into your shop for example and only two actually
buys what you sell, your real sales from the perspective of quality is
faulty because your pricing is faulty.

Many business people see pricing as an independent factor from product
but in actual fact, your price should be the addition of your cost and
profit margin. This means your pricing cannot be independent of your
cost of producing and of course production determines quality.

Quality is about customer satisfaction, not a matter of your opinion.
Where many businesses miss it is in including certain attributes in
their products that the customer is not really asking for or don't find
important. It doesn't make any difference to them. This attribute will
of course drive up the cost of the product yet it's of no real value to
the customer, hence they're not willing to pay for it.

Therefore product quality is not about what you put in your product,
it's about what the customer wants and considers important or valuable
in your product attributes. It's about what they're willing to pay for.

Your product quality is what the customer says it is, not what you think
it is. Are you wasting time and money including attributes in your
products that comes at a cost, yet, the customer can't see it, don't
appreciate it and are not willing to pay more for it; subsequently see
your so called quality product as overpriced?

Dear friend, only your customer can determine your product quality in
terms of commercial viability. In my opinion a pure gold cased barbing
clipper is not something a lot of barbers would be willing to pay for. I
don't think they're asking for it. There is no incremental value in the
efficiency of the clipper to the barber. I don't think barbers would buy it.

The seller may boast of quality because of the golden attribute of the
clipper, but the customer can't see the worth. In English language, it's
a quality product, in business language, it is not. It doesn't translate
to superior sales.

A recent research conducted revealed that 80% of buying decisions today
are either made or strongly influenced by women. For you to truly
understand how the customer sees the quality in your product; you can't
ignore women. In fact most men buy cars women would respect and admire
them in, it's not really about durability, ruggedness and maintenance
cost. It's more about the babes…

To most people and for many products, quality could be for how long an
affordable product remains at its best after purchase.

For many also, quality is the way the product or service is sold,
delivered and maintained. It's about all the activities tied to the
purchase, ownership and use. It is possible for a more delicious and
nutritious meal sold at a road side canteen to be rated lower in quality
than less delicious and nutritious one sold at a high profile
restaurant, in an atmosphere of comfort and enjoyment.

In business if your product is less than customers' expectations, its
bad quality, if it has high attributes customers don't want or
appreciate, it is also bad quality as it's not commercially rewarding.
It will be regarded as over prized. However, if in terms of customer
satisfaction and affordability it is just right, your product at that
point is of good quality.

Dear friend, your profitability is based on perceived value by customers
not just the attributes you build in it.

Your rating and the rating of your business in your industry is
determined by your quality ranking. Customer growth based on
recommendation and word of mouth spread is a function of perceived
quality by your customers.

Dear friend, to win in this season, it's not business as usual, business
intelligence is critical,  you must discover what quality means to your
customer target. Then from their feedback, you select one critical area
and focus on it.

Quality product is not what you think and say, it's what your customer
perceives and believes. Dear friends, go and activate

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Last modified on Wednesday, 31 August 2016 04:50

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