Who Wins the Price War?
It will probably cost you!
Does it make sense to buy quality instead of saving money?
Remember being frugal doesn’t just mean saving money – it means spending your money wisely. Some things may be cheap now, but actually cost you more in the long run. Cost is also a very broad term – cost in dollars, cost in time, cost in frustration/grief/angst, cost in relationships, I could go on and on.
I’m sure you can come up with 10 products or services where you benefitted from spending more up front for a better, longer-term experience. I know I can think of times when I didn’t and regretted it!!
Let’s take the uniform buying process as an example…
Unfortunately deciding on a supplier based on price more often than not leads to spending more over the cycle – whether it’s in time, or replacement and replenishment costs to buy the same cheap products over and over again.
As I said…when we talk costs they extend far beyond monetary. What about how much time it takes you to deal with poor quality and reactive customer service departments? More importantly for the business as a whole, what about the impact on the perception of a business, the strength of the brand and the value in that brand.
One good example is a large health organisation who is known by everyone who has ever engaged with their staff to scrimp on uniforms. One would assume these cost-conscious decisions roll out across other areas supporting their employees. The picture this paints to outsiders reflects the value they place on their staff. For their staff, they are very disgruntled whenever asked about their uniforms. They do not feel valued, do not feel they look good and are not comfortable. So staff morale is negatively impacted, the perception of the brand and the business is impacted and the confidence and professionalism has to be proven beyond first impressions.
When you start looking into whether to spend or save, there is one consistent theme on every, single blog – spend more on items to get better quality, more comfort and extra durability. Additionally many state if you save on product, you sacrifice on something else like service (which translates into time).
Battling over price – who wins?
Most companies can undercut the competition, the question isn’t whether they can, it’s whether they want to. AND if they do, what business do you think doesn’t have 5 ways up their sleeve to reduce their costs to still recoup their margin – whether that be in terms of customer service (like Aldi), costs for anything outside the box (like when building a new house) or a price hike when it comes time for replenishment after 12 months (like electricity and insurance providers).
Anyone can choose to be the cheapest by supporting a competitive price guarantee of 5% on like-for-like products.
When talking uniforms and given the power they have over employee morale and brand perceptions, the cheapest solution will end up costing you in more ways than one!
“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ’Til your good is better and your better is best.” St Jerome.
BY KATE GIBSON
Advance Design, Trade Marketing