Brand differentiation: quality

Quality control personifiedJack Trout and Steve Rivkin in Differentiate or Die declare that quality is not a strong brand differentiator.

Why? Because others can achieve the level of quality enjoyed by the current quality leader given time and resources. Also, quality has become such an important factor for any product in any product category that quality has become a “given”. That doesn’t mean there are no poor quality offerings. It just means that customers buying reputable brands expect them to possess quality.

The third reason: quality can be claimed without being identified. One competitor may state that “quality is build in” while another speaks of “quality come from our people”. A third may brag of raw material quality and a fourth about “fifty years of R&D” going into a product.

Quality is usually assumed from a price leader, a category leader, a market share leader, a company with a heritage, or a company in a luxury product category.

Now that doesn’t mean that a company shouldn’t promote its product quality. It just means that a company should not attempt to make an exclusive claim. It might be a selling point but it’s not a differentiator.

So look to other attributes in order to establish a strong differentiated position. There are plenty of them as you’ll discover by continuing to follow this series on building a brand platform.

Martin Jelsema

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