Quality vs. Price

There are two types of people in the world: those that divide the world in two types of people and those that don’t. — Anon

Do you start a buying decision based on Quality or Price?

There is a continuum between the extremes where individuals tend to sort themselves over time. It’s hard to exist at the extremes. Someone only interested in quality does have to eventually live within a budget. Those only interested in price have to accept that they need a minimum level of quality or are just wasting their money.

It’s entirely up to you where you feel most comfortable ,given your own situation, and it’s fine to be at one extreme or the other at times. However, to be a successful business person, you need to understand these polar opposites exist, and it takes different approaches to capture people that lean heavily on one side or the other.

Does Apple Sell on Price?

This hit me on the 10th anniversary of the iPhone last month.I was sitting in an old fashion seminar: a guy in the front of the room, with a flip chart, seeking group participation. One of my fellow classmates went on a little rant about how business is all about price. If you want to win at business, you need to offer the best price…price…price…price.

I finally had to object, using Apple as a case in point.  Apple never discusses price until right before it’s time for a customer to actually shell out money. Go to an Apple Store. There are no prices displayed.Apple never offers sales. They never clear inventory at the end of the year. They may reduce the price of an older product (slightly) when an upgrade is announced, but it’s never a “give-away” price. They enforce this through out their sales channel: no retailer can offer Apple products at a discount.

Somehow, Apple has defied this guys advice and managed to become the largest (non-resource extraction, non-financial services) company on the planet. It makes it obvious to me there are other ways to grow your business than just offering the best price.

Apple Fan Boy

I also noted that the above classmate sported an Android phone and a lesser-known brand of a Windows-capable machine. Windows and Android are often offered on systems that are sold on price.

Apple, on the other hand, sells on quality, which breeds loyalty. I’m an Apple fanboy. I haven’t gone crazy on all their products,but I did buy an original Mac back in 1984 and stood in line 10 years ago to buy iPhones the day they were first released. It was a happy day when I was finally able to bring my Mac to work. I’ve managed to make my living largely in the Apple ecosystem for the last 10 years, which sweetens the deal.

However, the iPhone and other Apple products lose market share every year (Remember Apple has more cash reserves then the US Government). But they still don’t try to convince everyone on the planet to choose quality over price.

Know Your Market

I develop apps for iOS and Android. I’m often asked which is better, which should be done first, or if they really need an Android(or iOS) app. The answer is to know your market.

Even really large companies like IBM, Apple, Microsoft,  don’t go for all platforms, a better place to start is to discover your niche.Figure out if they’re a quality or price kind of crowd. Provide the solution that appeals to them without a lot of explaining.

Do the research. Ask your market a few predictive questions then ask if they’re Android or iOS?


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