By Scott Wallace on February 16, 2022

Quality Matters!

Can quality take your business to the next level?

YES, emphatically!

That said, it takes focus, investment, and consistency across your entire business. Everyone and everything. From your ingredients, to your manufacturing, to your shipping, to your packaging, to your product, to your service department, to your customer experience. It is an all-hands-on deck commitment.

Can it make a difference? Again, absolutely!

Here are two quotes that underscore the value of quality to your business.

“Quality is generally transparent when present, but easily recognized in its absence.”         -Alan Gillies

“You cannot inspect quality into the product; it is already there.” -W. Edwards Deming

Start by focusing on the needs and preferences of your target audience, what they care most about. Then, attribute by attribute, look for opportunities to be better than competition, and exceed the expectations of your customers.

You might say that quality is table stakes today. In some product categories, that may be true.

But most often, quality can elevate your position to one of superiority. And that leads to a bunch of benefits.

Think about these outcomes from a dedication to quality.

  1. It boosts loyalty.
    1. Repeat business from existing customers drives revenue and margin. Why give them a reason to even think about going elsewhere.
  2. It reinforces Brand reputation.
    1. Especially for premium or image-based Brands, reputation is vital. Those who have it can charge more, which leads to higher margins. Those who mess it up lose customer trust and risk switching to alternative products.
  3. It reduces complaints, returns, or recalls.
    1. All of these are costly to handle and resolve. Recalls in particular can be difficult to recover from. And dissatisfied customers often share their less than perfect experiences on social media.
  4. It gives you a higher ROI.
    1. Higher quality ingredients, tighter manufacturing tolerances, more frequent inspections all cost more. It is highly likely that you can charge a higher price since customers care about quality and are willing to pay for it. Think about the customer satisfaction and retention that results. Existing customers are much cheaper to serve than attracting new ones.
  5. It helps your business meet regulatory and safety standards.
    1. In many product categories, these standards are in place for good reasons. A zealous and rigorous emphasis on quality keeps you in compliance.

All persuasive and tangible value drivers. If you and your executive team are convinced and onboard, it is time to get to work.

Let’s take ingredients. “Finest quality” is probably the easiest bar. If it matters, can you claim “environmentally sourced?” Or some other commitment to climate or local farmers or forests or animal populations. Or no bioengineered ingredients? For premium products, ingredients are often the rational, and compelling, point of difference. Just be sure that it is important to your best customers.

For manufacturing, the best advice is to “design it in.” Take the time and money to get the best equipment, that runs at high output rates with low defects. Build in check points and measurement or inspection protocols so that you have the data to support consistent and superior quality.

With distribution and customer service more important than ever before, thanks to Amazon, getting the product to customers on time, 100% complete, with no errors or incorrect items means higher customer satisfaction. With consumer goods, it also means no out of stocks. The pandemic supply chain disruptions made this a challenging time. But now, you can again make this a point of difference.

Your product is the hero, the lead actor, the place to spend the most time regarding quality. If you have consumer testing data, you may even be able to make a claim of superiority. And, let’s face it, premium Brands work better, taste better, last longer. Even the usage experience is better. This is where the rubber meets the road, so think through all of the ways to showcase your product. And then stick with it. Competition often steps in and raises the bar which forces you to also do what you can to keep up.

Even your packaging supports your quality position. The materials you use, the product protection it provides, the shelf life it enables, the utility and ease of use by end customers, the image the design presents—all meaningful contributors to quality. And if you have an advantage, consider making that claim right on your package.

“Satisfaction guaranteed” or “guaranteed fresh” or the like can be powerful. In many cases, your go to market business model enables such claims. Think about the store delivered product categories (like snacks, dairy, beverages, or bakery) where the delivery person removes out of code products and rotates the stock.

Does your logo stand out sufficiently? Is the product itself presented to its best advantage? Are usage or opening or closing tips adequate? Like everything else, design it in.

Many pundits will say that quality is a journey. One that requires constant attention.

Yes, and quality does move the needle in so many product categories.

We encourage you to examine and inspect all the aspects of quality for your product and business. You may be surprised at how much it in fact matters!

Take the first step to a more successful business today.

  1. Hit “LET’S TALK” to schedule a free 30-minute discussion. No pressure – we promise.
    2.    We’ll provide real-world case studies showing the process in action.
    3.    If we’re a fit, we finalize details and get started!

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