I find it interesting when high end brands look to maximize profit by going for the money grab of lowering quality while maintaining price point. It seems so foolishly short sighted. The amountof work that goes into creating a highly reputable brand is extensive and decades in the making. Brands can be tarnished very quick and very difficult to recover. So why do this? A few reasons I have seen:
- Leadership is overly driven by short term quarterly profit
- Expanding market share by entering lower cost point ranges
- Misapplication of improved manufacturing processes. When “Lean” and outsourcing goes bad
- Responding to the need to be a technology leader by pushing the inclusion of new technology to fast. Product maturing is in the customers hands, and they hate that.
Here are some brand I believe have made some of these mistakes. Each is playing a dangerous game of loosing their core market.
- Singer Sewing Machines: Improved cost margin by changing most internal mechanical parts to plastic. The word has been out for a while. No longer the “go to” brand for serious users.
- Armani suits: For their price point their are a handful of other manufacturers that offer far better quality. Armani farmed out their production and let quality fall to a mid-range level.
- Everlast boxing Equipment: Previously known as the best, but expensive. They capitalized on their reputation by creating products at a low cost point. They can be purchased at non-sporting goods stores like Walmart. Most models will fall apart in very short time. For a small increase in cost point brands that will last 4 or 5 times as long can be purchased.
- Craftsman tools: Previously a brand known to be handed down generations. Now they are a cheap alternative to professional tools.