Perceived Quality, A Definition
Perceived Quality is the impression of excellence that a customer experiences about a product, brand or business, derived through sight, sound, touch, and scent.
It is the customer’s perception of a product’s reliability and robustness, the impression of care and craftsmanship invested in its manufacture, the sense of richness and strength of the materials used, the evident fine attention to detail, and the feeling of the depth of engineering behind the design.
This is quite separate from actual reliability and robustness, attributes that are vital for a product to be competitive, but not characteristics that will distinguish it as special, or propel it into the "premium" segment.
In a world where consumers are increasingly being offered functional, reliable, feature laden products, smart businesses are focusing on perceived quality to transform functionally competitive products into more desirable, premium products, for which higher prices can be commanded.
How Perceived Quality Works
A customer's perception of the quality of a product, brand or business is predominately the result of subconscious thought. Most people will have an intrinsic ability to determine a product’s quality from looking, feeling and listening to it. Often, an opinion is formed in a matter of minutes or even seconds.
For example, imagine viewing a new car in a showroom for the first time. Within the first few moments, you will be able to judge if the product is of high quality or not.
You will see the luster of the paint finish, the alignment of the panels, the sparkle of the brightwork, the elegance of the design treatments.
You will feel the fluidity of the door handle movement, the solidity of the controls, the smoothness of the interior materials, the softness of the armrests.
You will hear the precision of the door mechanisms, the thud on closure of the glove box door, the harmony of the audible tones.
All of these sensory inputs will allow you to subconsciously determine if you are assessing a vehicle of superior quality that is worthy of a price premium.
Understanding perception and dissecting each sensory input is the first step in designing products that will not just satisfy but delight all of the senses and give the customer that initial "wow".
My name is Marcus Roffey. For the last 16 years, I have specialized in the field of perceived quality, working in conjunction with business leaders and their product designers, engineers and marketing executives, in multiple regions and markets. I have helped them understand, define and implement high levels of perceived quality in their products, from initial concept through to production delivery.
Marcus Roffey, Perceived Quality specialist
"Premium materials and obvious authenticity, hallmarks of premium design."
"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
"Craftsmanship communicates a skill and passion for quality, that individuals have had, to create something unique."
Just a taster...
A customer's perception of quality of a product, brand, or business is a result of many complex elements, far more than are detailed here, and these are intended as just a taster of what can contribute to that look, feel, and sound of premium quality.
Agree? Disagree? Got a counter point? I'd love to know your thoughts.