If we ask customers what they look for the most in a product or service in terms of delivering satisfaction to them, no doubt they’ll say it’s ‘quality’. For, if price was of no consequence, quality is the most important differentiator between products in a single category. And, quality is likely to be the most important factor in determining the success of a product or service in the marketplace.
If quality provides the only real competitive advantage a product needs to stay ahead of its pack, does it necessarily mean that investment in product quality is likely to ensure customer satisfaction (always) – and, in turn, (always) ensure the product’s superior performance in the marketplace?
In other words, does superior product quality mean superior product performance – and, greater customer satisfaction? And, taking it a step further, does superior quality in a product (always) guarantee superior product performance?
When we say a product is of superior quality than others, do we mean that the product in question out-performs all other products in its category… always… and with the same level of margin(s)? If the answer to this question is an overwhelming ‘yes’, it would mean that if we can measure the performance of a product, we can measure its quality.
Hence, in a reverse logic kind of way, a measure (and definition) of product quality may be found by measuring product performance in the marketplace. Of course, the question remains: how do we measure performance?