Across all the industry from housewares, IT, food to fashion apparel and accessories, how consumers value the price and quality of the products or services may differ. In human’s mind, a series of theories involving the ‘naïve’ theories, informal and commonsense explanation are used to fill the gaps in their knowledge while considering and purchasing product. (Brad, 2012) Everyone has different perception and thoughts. In some consumer’s mind, price denotes quality while for others, low price means getting a good value. The bottom line here is, people can hold two opposing beliefs about the product, and these two beliefs may not exist in their mind all the time.
To study consumer’s perception on price versus quality, an experiment has been conducted where consumers were shown an advertisement for a bottle of wine with either a high or a low price. ( marketwatch, 2014 )When been reminded of quality, consumers favor the expensive more but when reminded of value, they favor the cheap wine more. Besides that, consumers may also believe that popular products or rarely heard products that are well advertised are high in quality as well.
In the fashion industry, this theory applies the same when looking at consumer purchase decision on either fast fashion or quality well-made apparel. Some consumers put price above everything else, for them, cheap fast fashion seemed to make sense. They are fine with spending $200 for five pieces of fast fashion clothing, but can get turn off easily by a $200 well-made high quality dress. (Cottoncorporated, 2012) These are the shoppers who like to keep up with multiple trends without emptying their wallet.
On the other hand, there are also group of savvier customers who are looking to have longer-term relationships with their apparel purchase. For them, quality comes first and they believe cheap things usually don’t come in good quality. This group of consumers is willing to pay more for better quality apparel. After all, does a $30 dress from H&M really only lasts for few weeks, while a $200 designer dress can lasts for few years? In my thought, sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. It really depends on many factors.
These days, luxury brands like Hermes, Louis Vuitton has been marking up prices, improving their home values and overall stronger economy. This has lead consumers to start questioning are they paying for the product or the brand. True that, today branding plays an important role in the business world. Branding helps to inspires the consumer, leaving an indelible impression to the consumer. Sometimes, consumers without knowing are actually buying the brand rather than the real product. Many products can be overpriced but what consumer sees is wholly the brand itself.
Long story short, both beliefs about the price versus quality have their valid and erroneous points. The key here is to find the right balance between the two viewpoints. Being neutral on this statement might help when deciding a purchase on any products. It is also essentially important to do any research beforehand to prevent any loss.
‘ Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten ‘– Ed Sabol –
Brad. (2012, November 14). Does a Low Price Mean Good Value or Bad Quality? | TIME.com. Retrieved from http://business.time.com/2012/11/14/does-a-low-price-mean-good-value-or-bad-quality/
Cotton Incorporated. (2012, December 20). Quality Over Quantity: Consumers Weigh Well-Made Apparel Vs. Fast Fashion – WWD. Retrieved from http://wwd.com/globe-news/textiles/quality-over-quantity-consumers-weigh-well-made-apparel-vs-fast-fashion-6549343/
Shannon. (2014, October 19). 5 Truths the Fast Fashion Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shannon-whitehead/5-truths-the-fast-fashion_b_5690575.html
Troy. (2012, October 11). The Low Cost Vs. High Quality Debate | My View From The Country. Retrieved from http://beefmagazine.com/blog/low-cost-vs-high-quality-debate
Why you’re paying more for these 8 luxury items – MarketWatch. (2014, September 20). Retrieved from http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-youre-paying-more-for-these-8-luxury-items-2014-09-19