Quality and price are perceived as positively correlated by consumers. In general, as price points increase, so does our perceptions of quality. This holds true for many brands, however, we can all recall examples of when we have bought a cheaper version of a product and been pleasantly surprised by its quality (expectations were exceeded), and also when we have bought a more expensive product only to be disappointed (it failed to deliver).
In the world of food and beverages, quality is directly related to how much consumers like a product and how it delivers on key sensory measures such as taste, texture, aroma etc.
A good strategy for producers of FMCG’s is to keep on top of how your product and its competitors are performing on key sensory measures with a routine category audit. This enables you to track the quality and purchase interest of your product versus competitors over time, and make sure yours is consistently performing at an acceptable level. It also gives you insights into any changes competitors are making to their formulations. If a cheaper competitor improves their formulation to be similar or superior to yours, you need to take action fast before your market share is eroded. Similarly, if your main competitor drops the standard of its product below yours, a new opportunity is created for you to win over new business with your superior product.
Having an early indicator of any product shift for cash cow lines is an essential protection and opportunity measure.
Get your product formulation right, keep it equal to or better than similarly priced competitor products, and positive quality perceptions for your brand will follow.
I love the quote from Aldo Gucci who never strayed from producing high quality products: “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”.