How to raise the quality of your brand.

 
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Does a Rolex keep better time than a Timex? No. So why will people pay so much more for a Rolex than a Timex?

It's all down the reputation of the brand. So how do you raise the reputation of your brand? You need to raise the perception of quality. But how do you raise the perception of quality?

Here are few suggestions...

1) Narrow your focus:

By narrowing your focus, you start to be seen as a specialist. By having a narrow focus you can offer a depth of knowledge your rivals cannot. A specialist is regarded far higher than a generalist and customers will pay far more for the services of a specialist, as they associate a depth of knowledge with a quality of service / product.

A professor is considered better than a school teacher in the same way a surgeon is considered better than GP because they have dedicated their time to learning about a specific area.

  • How can you narrow your focus?
  • What is the one area could you specialise in?
  • When you know, make sure to showcase this specialism so consumers know why they should choose you over the competition.

2) Increase your price

Perception of quality is always related to price. By raising your price, you instantly improve the quality of your brand in the eyes of the consumer. Customers can now achieve the psychic satisfaction of being able to afford to buy something, that not everyone else can.

A Rolex doesn't tell time better than a Timex, but owning a Rolex tells people that you can afford one. The quality of the brand rubs off on the consumer and raises their social profile. It becomes a status symbol.

However just simply increasing the price isn't enough, you must justify that price rise in some way.

  • What could you add to your product or service to justify a price rise?

3) Add Value

How can you add value into the product that the consumer will appreciate? There have to be reasons why people will pay more: Working with higher skilled professionals, sourcing better ingredients, including more items in the product / service.

You will need to know your audience so that you can include something that they value and appreciate if you are to raise the quality of your brand. The best way to do this in an authentic way, is through compelling stories. Storytelling goes a long way to letting consumers know how you have added value. Has your whisky been aged longer? Have you used a special ingredient? Is your coffee from an exclusive source?

The value is always determined by the consumer, not the producer.

  • What you can add to your brand that they will love so much that they won't mind paying for?
  • Is there a story behind this added value?

4) Reduce the quantity

As soon as anything becomes limited to a small number, it is immediately more desirable. It becomes collectable and therefore holds it's value. If you are one of the few people able to get hold of one of these rare limited editions, your social status goes up in a similar way to owning an expensive handbag, dress or watch. It's value isn't just because it is harder to find, it raises the profile and social status of those who have got it.

Anything produced on a limited run is perceived as a better quality alternative to the main brand - A new roast in a coffee shop, a car that has been styled by a professional designer or a short run of prints from an artist. It's unique, special and won't be around for long.

One way to achieve this is to do a 'limited edition' version of your brand which may involve a unique ingredient or some sort of collaboration. Teaming up with someone highly regarded will also improve the perceived quality of this limited run, the profile of the person involved rubs off on your brand. Kanye West collaborating with Adidas to produce the Yeezy is a perfect example of this.

  • Who could you collaborate with to produce a limited range of your brand?

To sum up

As I said in the beginning, if you want improve the reputation of your brand, you need to raise the perception of it's quality. This is done by implementing the strategies outlined above to craft a brand identity that is refined and stylish.
 


Next week

I will be show you how to create a sophisticated brand identity and showcasing the design characteristics and styles used. I will also be including a hand picked selection of refined colour palettes and some of my most stylish typefaces so you can start to elevating your own brand.

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