This morning we all woke up to the news that Woolworths and MFI have gone into administration. Such well known institutions in the market place now reside in the hands of the receivers. But where did they go wrong?
One idea banded around at a breakfast networking group I attended this morning was due to the concept of ‘quality’. Both shops piled it high and sold it cheap. Inexpensive materials went hand in hand with trying to give the impression of quality, and advertising usually declared the latest incredible savings that could be made. Sometimes I wondered why MFI were offering over 50% off their sofas – is it because they couldn’t sell them? The quality of Woolworth’s stock sunk lower and lower, and the layout of their shops made it almost impossible to find anything you wanted.
Don’t be tempted over price compared to quality, especially in today’s economic environment. You can easily get your business stationery over the internet from interactive websites that seem incredibly cheap, but then the products they produce certainly are! The quality of card is inferior, the quality of print thin, the portrayal of your imagery is flat and uninspiring, there is no guidelines in how to place your information correctly, the templates are overused and easily replicated at networking meetings, and because the process is totally automated, I known some stuff to come back that was totally unsuitable because their machine broke down and a vital colour was not included!
When you’re handing out your networking stationery, you need be proud of your business cards. Potential clients are impressed by the ‘feel’ of the card, clarity of the layout and zinginess of your colours. This also goes for your letterheads, compliment slips, brochures, postcards, leaflets… in fact, all the promotional literature you produce needs to send the message that you are of the highest quality, and therefore the work you produce is the same.
During a credit crunch, it is important not to stint on your marketing, and certainly not to compromise on the quality of your message and the special offers you are broadcasting. Think quality and therefore deliver quality – it will always win in the end.