What is Quality?

This this post I am trying something a bit different.  The written version is available below, as well as a link to a video (https://youtu.be/lEsuuhvEclc).  I hope you enjoy!

What is quality? The word Quality on its own does not designate how good or bad a particular product is.  Therefore, the terms high, standard, low, average or others are used to define how a particular product ranks against similar products.

When designing a product, you typically have to balance cost and quality, with cost targets being driven by what a customer will pay for a given product minus expected margin.

A product’s price and quality are intertwined.  For example, think about the original Sony Walkman.  The audio quality was low in comparison to other listening opportunities.  At the time competing products were large home stereos, live music, and boom boxes.  That’s right remember boom boxes.  If you don’t, Google it.  The Walkman was so successful because it offered an acceptable level of audio quality at the right price, and it was more portable than any other option that was on the market.

Now for your product.  Determine the consumer’s quality expectation for key aspects of the product and how much they are willing to pay for that level of quality.  It is important to know that as the quality of your product rises, typically so does the cost.  As your product moves up this curve becoming a premium product, there will inevitably be less customers willing to pay the premium price.  Finding the right spot on the curve is key maximize sales. Previously I used the Walkman as an example of a product having lower quality. On the opposite end would be Louis Vuitton luggage.  Their products are known for high quality standards and has a price tag to match.

Once you have determined the proper level of quality for your new product, you need to think about how to maintain the quality you have worked so hard to establish.  By all means you want to avoid those dreaded word, Product Recall.  The best way to ensure that your product quality is maintained is to make sure that the proper training, processes, and procedures are in place to ensure that the product is always manufactured to the same level of quality.  It is important to have quality controls in place as well.  The first line of defense is product inspection.  Another part of the equation is statistical analysis.

If you are just starting out on our product development journey, and there are areas of the process that you are unsure  about, take the time to find people that you can partner with or mentor you through the process and answer your questions.

I hope that you have found this post to be beneficial and offers you something to think about as you are designing your products.

The next couple of posts will focus on Marketing your product and ensuring that your product solves  a real problem

Thank you, enjoy the rest of your week! Never Stop

- Jason