Is building a better quality product the same as building a better brand?
One would think so – and it’s not uncommon for new marketers to think so. But when creating a strong brand marketing strategy, this is not the case. There are almost no correlations between best quality and most successful brands. We’ve seen it many times – where the most preferred brand, is not the leading one.
Why is the Pepsi Taste Challenge so successful? People enjoy Pepsi a lot more, yet Coca Cola is the leading brand. The reason is because the idea of quality is something that resides in the mind of the consumer. The idea of quality is something that is implanted in the mind of the consumer.
One of the surest ways to do this is through further constricting the focus of your brand. This is something I will cover in depth in a future article. For now, what you need to know is that by becoming an expert and by becoming focused on one thing as opposed to many, your brand becomes perceived as being of higher quality.
If you’re creating a soccer team, would you choose the athlete who plays every sport or would you choose the athlete who plays only soccer? Obviously the soccer player. That’s how consumers view brands.
A brand that claims to do everything is less trustworthy, than the brand who claims they are the best at one thing.
Be the best at one thing.
Be a big fish in a small pond, not a small fish in a big one.
Another way to build the perception of the quality of your brand in your consumer’s mind is through high-pricing – something you may have already realized to some degree.
Below are examples of a few brands that the average individual would associate with being ‘high-quality’. These are also brands which profit immensely from their high price:
- Jack Daniel’s
What often happens is that brand owners either feel that their brand should be a high-quality brand but are afraid to make the price equivalent to what they think their brand is worth… OR some brand owners feel that their brand is a high quality brand but in reality it isn’t, yet they still charge the higher price.
Before even considering charging a higher price, you need to be confident in the high quality of your brand. Quality comes first.
If your brand has products and services with a high price but has a low or average quality perception of a brand, that will discourage consumers from sticking around for very long. That violates the idea of brand consistency. But if your quality is on higher level, don’t be afraid to charge a higher price for your brand. Having a higher price on your brand, can in fact be a benefit to the consumer. By buying a product of brand that is associated with high quality, consumers feel a certain level of satisfaction from the purchase.
The individual who purchases a Movado, doesn’t do so to tell time better, but to make others aware that he or she can afford it. There’s a quote I heard somewhere ; it goes something like… “if your watch costs more than $50,000, it’s no longer a time-telling device, it’s jewelry.” Also, don’t rely only on quality to develop a successful brand. At the end of the day, it is the brand with the better strategy that wins.
The other most important thing to think about when employing high quality strategy, is how you will justify the increase in price of your product or service? What can you emphasize? You need to pick one thing that you can be the best at and be a leader in – this comes back to the idea of constricting the focus of your brand.
Take a look at Whole Foods, who earns most of its profits in prepared foods, where the price premium is very high, with operating margins of approximately 7%. They justified their premium price by emphasizing luxury with organic food, sophisticated in store presentation, and knowledgeable staff. That was enough to convince customers to pay a higher price for prepared food.
Leverage the psychology of how consumers think to build your brand – that’s what Brand Marketing Psychology is all about.