The 21st century is an era of marketing and every brand wants to be as close to its customers as possible. You come across so many marketing campaigns daily, most of which are meant to attract new customers or to create a specific brand image. The role of marketing in the sales and success of any product and brand has grown very important. However, the success of marketing does not just depend on a large marketing budget or excellent marketing techniques. Successful marketing begins from a great product offering. Another important element that plays a critical role in marketing is the pricing strategy used by a brand. This article will discuss how excellent product quality and a suitable pricing strategy can aid the success of a marketing strategy.
Zara is a fast growing fast fashion brand that has acquired a very high level of success in a very short period. There are two important reasons behind this success which has come at no cost in marketing or promotion of the brand. Zara does not spend on marketing but still markets itself better than most other brands in this world. The reason is the right mix of product and pricing. Zara makes clothing whose style matches that of designer brands. Anyone from the middle class wants stylish and expensive looking clothes at affordable prices. Zara has made this possible and while its designs are as good as designer clothing, the prices are quite affordable like that of an average fashion brand. This has led to higher sales and a customer base larger than any other fashion brand. Thus, the right combination of prices and product quality can mean enormous success for a business.
In case of Apple, the premium prices of its products are supported by the premium quality of its products. While Apple does not charge lower prices for its products, it has matchless product quality to support its pricing scheme. Moreover, the premium pricing strategy is meant to sustain the premium brand image. In this way differentiated product quality and pricing strategy have helped Apple create a differentiated brand image and find success. Apple invests in marketing but apart from that its products spark a lot of curiosity, discussion and debate only because of their distinctly great quality. This is an area where Apple does not have to invest and where marketing happens automatically because it has matchless product quality to offer.
Starbucks is another great brand which has exemplified marketing through product quality. Starbucks also charges premium prices but that again as in case of Apple is meant to sustain a premium brand image and quality of its products. The largest coffee brand is known for its coffee flavors and for the great customer service it provides. The brand did not invest anything in marketing till some years ago because all the marketing and branding took place through word of mouth and publicity. This again shows that if you have great product quality to offer, you would not need to invest a lot in marketing. People will know your product and brand and your sales and customer base will grow. Great product quality also means better customer engagement. So, the brands offering superior quality in their products and services see success more easily than the brands offering comparatively inferior product quality.
However, you will also see brands using diverse pricing strategies. Not all the brands use premium pricing and nor competitive pricing. Why do they do so? It is because these pricing strategies are tied to a specific kind of brand image and are meant to create a specific perception of the brand in the customers’ mind. Premium prices are generally meant to create the perception of a premium brand. However, if you are going to charge premium prices, you must first have a premium product to offer. No customer would be willing to pay a premium price for a mediocre quality product or service. If you ignore product quality, it will also lead to negative publicity and loss of image and overall that will mean a marketing disaster for your brand. So a premium price must be backed by premium quality. Having the right combination of price and product quality will mean popularity and customer loyalty. This is how Zara built brand loyalty and this is how Starbucks did it.
IKEA is also a brand that has successfully used the price and quality formula to become a bestselling brand. It brought great quality home furnishing products at average prices. This drove the middle class consumers towards IKEA and helped the brand expand globally and generate very high level of sales and revenue. Again it earned positive publicity and lot of word of mouth marketing at no extra cost because the brand used the right mix of product quality and prices to attract customers. Thus, in the 21st century if you want your brand to be successful you must add quality to your product and use the right pricing strategy. These are two important components of your marketing mix that require careful focus to attract and engage your customers.