Posted on 15-01-2012
Filed Under (BUSINESS) by Shombit

From Discomfort Zone column by Shombit Sengupta in Financial Express and Indian Express

Shining QCW_Col

The biggest hunger of global brands across industries is on how to make low priced products that have “QCW,” quality customers want. This is the key to repeat purchase.

Impacted by the high standard of global brands in India, customers are experiencing and getting habituated to elevated quality where the efficiency of rational factors is exposed. Let’s take 3 sectors where QCW is enjoyed at affordable rates: McDonald’s offers an American burger lunch at Rs 25 in air-conditioned, extremely hygienic setting. French Hotel Ibis provides perceptible quality comfort and ambience at 3-star hotel rates. Toyota’s Quality Revolution is setting benchmarks for the automobile industry.

This QCW illustration shows that in any given category customers have their own or influenced perception of the quality spark. Switching to QCW brands, customers are making several Indian brands ruling the roost in the Licence Raj era lose their market leadership. In automobiles or consumer electronics, Hindustan Motors or BPL, Videocon, Onida and Godrej dominated the market till the 1997. Today people willingly pay a higher price for competing foreign brands but they’ll haggle with Indian brands in every market segment when QCW is not perceived. Sony, Samsung and LG conquered the consumer electronics market, bringing in new technology, customer focus and perceivable sparkling quality from reliability (rational factor), functionality and the aesthetic (emotive) edge.

The clash emerging now is that India is following the lifestyle of developed countries where rational factor efficiency is very high. Take a look at QCW illustration Point 3, of industries that impose the trend. Examples of trendy brands are McDonald’s in fast food, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Rolex in luxury products, and Apple, Google, Nikon, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft, Samsung in technology. In personal care its L’Oreal, Forbes and Vogue among magazines, in financial institutions HSBC, American Express, in apparel Zara, Esprit and Hugo Boss while vehicles coveted are Harley Davidson, BMW and Audi and sports wear Nike and Adidas. Through inventions that go against Nature, Western society created products and living style that reduce effort and increase comfort for people in every domain. Whatever social culture we may follow, we cannot ignore the comfort standards provided in the refrigerator, automobile, mobile phone, the lift to Facebook among others in our daily life. The more our country develops, it’s obvious we’ll minutely follow the well defined materialistic lifestyle of developed countries. So the only choice Indian brands have to sustain in the market is to uplift the rational quality spark.

Every company has to take into account the customer’s perception of quality, the competitive environment and trendy industries that influence the customer. My priority in working for Indian companies and their employees is to sensitize them to make infallible the non-visible rational attribute of a product or service. Employees have to be trained on QCW beyond any standard quality process. To actually achieve quality customers want, the company has to inspire and control its vendors on the QCW definition with precision in the purchase order. Most global brands outsource from China giving precise quality parameters, and China delivers accordingly. But Indians often criticize Chinese products, which may not be China’s fault as they admit they’ll compromise quality standards based on the cost the manufacturer bargains for.

Offering high salaries, multinational companies in India are stringently imposing their proven processes and customer centricity to bring global quality standard. I’ve heard that Indian professionals are leaving MNCs to return to Indian organizations, that have since revised their salary structure to keep up with MNCs, to get better freedom at work. The catch here is if “freedom at work” means ignoring QCW, how can Indian companies improve? According to me, business cannot sustain, whether it’s corporate performance, the brand, industrial product design or organised retail, if the quality spark is missing. Indian brands need to ignite QCW to ensure repeat purchase and be globally competitive.

To download above article in PDF Ignite QCW, Quality Customers Want

Financial Express link:http://www.indianexpress.com/news/ignite-qcw-quality-customers-want/899725/0

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