September 2015
It's About Quality

Jeffrey Spear - President, Studio Spear

Jeff Spear

It's my belief, and part of Studio Spear's core philosophy, that when quality is pursued to its fullest, the returns far exceed the investment. Although there is no shortage of opinions that adamantly believe that profit is the ultimate destination, my mind is made up.


I've had the pleasure of working with a large number of companies (and brands) that have experienced significant growth from this way of thinking. As part of the research I've provided along the way, I’ve consistently found that quality is a highly sought after brand attribute. Not surprisingly, the specific industry hasn't mattered. From chocolate to cosmetics and wine to walnuts, we're consistently seeing that, when quality is offered, consumers repay the favor with frequent purchases and loyalty. In short, the reputation your company earns as a result of quality creates brand leadership.

Brand leadership, however, does not come easily. It requires significant investments in terms of hard work, long hours and an unwavering attention to detail. It may also require financial investments beyond current levels of spending. Most importantly, it requires clarity, passion, objectivity, focus and persistence.

How many times have you heard about brands or products described as "world famous," "top quality," or "premier?" While these are all effective ways to describe quality, they are overused, extremely subjective and could be perceived as a marketing ploy that overstates the truth. While I’m not suggesting that these sorts of positioning statements should be avoided, I am suggesting that you make sure there is substance behind the claims you make.

Projecting confidence is, however, an essential facet of effective brands. If you can't (or don't) speak well of your products or services, who will? Just be sure that, If you are going to make statements that imply quality, have enough information to back up what you say. In more pedestrian terms, you must be prepared to "put up or shut up."

One last and equally important aspect of brand leadership is consistency. Assuming that quality is at the core of your brand, it must be obvious, attached to every aspect of your operation and delivered in a manner that provides a consistent experience for all audiences at all times.

While you want to provide as many reasons as possible for customers to come back (and come back often), its also important to keep in mind that strong brands are not the exclusive domain of your customers. A truly effective and leading brand will evoke favorable responses and recognition from non-customers as well. Truly great brands such as Coca Cola, Kodak, FedEx and Disney are thoroughly understood and appreciated by everyone, not just those who want the "real thing," a picture perfect moment, on time deliveries or an entertaining experience with a big mouse.

If quality and brand leadership describes what your company has already achieved or the destination it is pursuing, you are part of a very limited, determined and elite crowd (and I’ve been preaching to the choir). Although the challenges you've endured and the ones that you're bound to encounter will certainly test your convictions, I have no doubt you will be glad you remained loyal to your own standards of excellence.

For those of you who think more about profits, consider this: Consumers who experience quality will pay a higher price, tend to become loyal customers and, better still, will become unpaid advocates of your brand. It’s been my experience that profits follow quality. The same cannot be said in reverse.


If the time has come to overhaul, update and re-invigorate your brand image, or you'd like to change up your marketing program, please call 904 685 2135 - ask for Jeff Spear. You can also contact Jeff via email:

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