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How Do You Communicate Quality?

By Ryan Trinder - Meet the Team

How Do You Communicate Quality - Design InsightGrowing up as one of three boys, Christmas time was always a fun time to both give and receive presents. I always remember putting great thought into my gift selections for my younger siblings. Wrapping them however, was a much different story. Often, they were encased in yesterday’s newspaper headlines making any English-style fish & chip joint proud. The gift was no less, but the packaging didn’t say that.

Fast forward a few years, many of them married and I’ve grown to learn that there is much more to a gift then just the gift itself. Much care goes into a carefully wrapped package and a well written card. It doesn’t necessarily matter how much the gift was or what label was on it. It’s more that thought was used and time was taken to properly give it. Presentation has value.

 “Say Hello to the iPod – 1,000 songs in your pocket”. I remember the launch of the iPod; groundbreaking technology allowing you to carry the equivalent of 100 compact discs with you anywhere. Nearly 15 years later, the iPod has been succeeded by the iPhone but its impact has changed our world. I recall opening my first apple purchase, a second generation iPod. Any minimalist would appreciate the experience of opening an Apple product. Every cord, wire and accessory was carefully wrapped, stamped with a transparent sticker to hold everything in its place. It was almost a piece of art. To my knowledge, at this point, no company had taken this much care to wrap their product. After all, it is only packaging that will be quickly thrown away.

I believe Apple caught ahold of a valuable principle. There is much more than just the quality of the product, efforts were taken to show its worth.  Apple’s packaging communicated its value, that the contents within are valuable.
While likely none of us are changing the world like Apple did, the principles remain the same.  What are practical ways, we as small business owners can add value to our products and services?
A local coffee shop that I enjoy, offers an individually wrapped and branded piece of chocolate with every coffee purchase. It may seem insignificant, but it compliments their drink well and implies at least to me, that there is thought and care behind every cup of coffee they sell.

Last march, I ordered a necklace for my wife’s birthday that I knew she had been eyeing. I had left a few weeks to ship but still was hesitant that I could receive it on time. After all, there’s nothing worse, then being empty handed the morning of. I received a prompt reply, an offer to wrap it and later an update on when the product had shipped. After receiving the package, there was a handwritten note hoping that my wife had liked her gift and if not, that she could return or exchange it.   They’ve enhanced the value of their products to me and likely won a customer next February 14th.

Years ago, Symetric’s logo design process consisted of designing various original logo ideas and combining them all onto one page before emailing the file to our client. Today, we’ve personalized our approach; each logo draft consists of a cover page with the name, version and the client’s name.  Even subliminally this reinforces that these logos are original designs crafted for them and only them. We found that logos that were simpler in nature lost their impact when jammed on with 5 other concepts. Thus, every logo now gets its own page. Upon completion, the client is sent a brand guideline file outlining the colours, fonts and guidelines to use with their new brand.  

Many times, when receiving a quote, customers just scan down to the bottom line foregoing to read all of the details that precede it. As we know, the cheapest option isn’t necessarily the best. The problem lies in other than a higher price tag, how do you communicate quality?  Perhaps, the quote is in a company branded folder with secondary information like past projects, references and company background. Something has to say we do quality work, we’ve done it before and we’ll do it again. Presentation can be an asset to communicate your attention to detail and what makes you stand out in a competitive marketplace.

Above all, I’ve discovered through our experiences we grow and advance hopefully to become the best version of ourselves and our companies. I can’t imagine today, giving a thoughtful gift wrapped in newspaper and if you are wondering Aroma makes great coffee and Jennybird has beautiful jewelry!

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