Bentley College Marketing- Honors

This blog is for MK 402-H01 and the greater Bentley College population.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Back to Basics: Quality

This post was a continuation of the blogger’s previous post regarding quality. In the first post, Dave pointed to the fact that claims about quality in marketing practices is often abused due to the fact that there are no concrete standardized measurements that are commonly used. Thus, claims of quality levels are incredibly vague. In this post, Dave points to a new article written by Scott Dalgleish in Quality Magazine in which he asks a question of quality regarding product/marketing:

"I’m currently designing a line of product for my business and I’m facing some fundamental quality questions. Do I develop a high-quality product or a cheaper low-quality product? This isn’t an easy question. My inclination as a quality professional is to develop a high-quality product without even thinking about it, but that could be a foolish approach. As I drive past discount stores with packed parking lots, I quickly realize how much consumers love low prices."

Dave responds to this question as follows:
The basic 101 lesson:“Reading this article reminded me my MBA economics classes, which I really enjoyed because of the order it creates with such complex questions. It all is based on the supply and demand curves that intersect. Here is a good review of supply and demand with interactive curves. Scott also realizes that price, cost, and quality are not also always dependent on each other.”The 600 level case study:“Right now most of us are dealing with existing products, or new products similar to others, so that we can make some assessments of the market, at least in an educated gut/Blink-style. Scott's problem is that there is no existing supply or demand curve for his new product. While he decides that market testing will help him decide, he also acknowledges that his final decision will be the one he can live with.”This post is marketing-related because it is directly related to product development. Deciding how to design and create a new product is crucial in beginning the marketing process. Once the product design is secured, the rest of the marketing strategy can be developed.

This post informs marketing because it addresses a crucial question of quality: should the product be high quality or low? This is essential. Dave brings forth an excellent point regarding demand of the consumer. If there is a high demand for a low quality, cheaper product then it would seem illogical to develop a high quality, more expensive product.

I have learned quite a bit from this post. The original article regarding the vagueness of quality statements opened my eyes to the idea that quality may be becoming a less important product characteristic in the eyes of consumers and their purchasing decisions. Using a supply and demand curve to determine the level of quality in a product was a concept that most likely would not have entered my thought process initially. This seems to be one of the more logical approaches in reaching such a decision.

I would have liked to have read more about Dave’s thoughts on the subject. Perhaps giving an example of successful and unsuccessful product designs in relation to quality levels would have made the topic a clearer.

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