The Quality Control Officer
August 9, 2016
Some transactions aren't dependent upon perceived quality.
A hot dog vendor would have a hard time selling $10 hot dogs if the cart next to his had 'em for $1, no matter what the ingredients of the $10 frank.
Most commodities face this challenge.
A paper towel is a paper towel, no matter the label, because I'm only going to use it to clean up a spill. I have to be persuaded to spend more for a commodity and that's not an easy task.
But there are many products which command - and receive - a real premium for the quality they reflect.
The difference of the in-flight experience is clear and valuable.
In America, air travel has become like public transportation: crowded, dirty, stinky, and unpleasant. We buy the cheapest fare because our expectation of service is very low.
It's difficult to know if an airline like Emirates could compete domestically and still command a premium price, because none has, and for a generation it's been a race to the bottom.
Goodbye, loyalty -- the very reason frequent flyer miles had to be offered.
If you work for one of the large consolidated radio companies today, you don't have the luxury of setting minimum quality standards, even though they might help command a premium in a compressed, indistinguishable ratings blur.
But if you work for an independent group, this is your trump card, which you can play over and over if you're really committed to client satisfaction.
It's got to be more than words on a mission statement.
It's got to be a part of your company culture.
There's always a market for Tiffany, Lexus and Emirates. They're not competing with JC Penney, Kia, and AirTran.
There will always be a competitor in your town willing to be the cheapest alternative.
But you, your station, may be the only one actually worth more, because the listening experience is clear and valuable.
You just have to be willing, and courageous enough, to compete on different terms.