Thursday, 10 July 2014

Let's outlaw 'quality'

I’m calling for the word ‘quality’ to be banned.  At least in marketing circles.

My reason?  It’s simple really – I’m more than a little fed up with brands telling me they offer a quality service or product.  Only this week, a consistently underperforming Marks & Spencer talked about refocusing on the ‘quality’ of their clothing.  What on earth does this mean to the average customer? Will it last longer? Will it be better styled? Will it make the wearer feel better?

The problem with ‘quality’ is that its meaning is so ill-defined it’s open to misinterpretation and disappointment.  What is ‘quality’ to me may well be ‘bog standard’ to the next man.  It’s relative and subjective.

In some circles ‘quality’ has an exclusive ring to it.  Fine, as long as you understand that ‘exclusive’ means some potential customers may feel ‘excluded’.

And, of course, the ‘quality’ of your product may well be adversely affected by the customer experience you create around it. In fact, the higher perceived ‘quality’ of the product, the higher the expectation of service.

The problem with quality is that it’s in the eye of the beholder.  It’s an emotional reaction.  It’s open to personal interpretation and expectation. 

And it’s seriously overused.