Higher Price, Better Quality?

You know what they say: “Buy it right or buy it twice”. People often think that higher price does equal to better quality when it comes to buying anything really. It is commonly thought that if it costs more to manufacture that basically implies that it has to be superior to its competitors, right?

You see, this statement is partially correct. For example; while a cheap silicone dog toy you bought from the dollar store barely survives a week, a much more expensive one from a pet shop can fulfill your dog’s expectations with an ease.This “You get what you pay for!” attitude only applies to products that are specific to their fields, such as hobby equipment. When, let’s say, looking for good quality art supplies, you know you have to buy the more expensive and professional looking tools rather than rummaging for hideous kids’ craft supplies. Or maybe when you are looking for the ideal footwear for trekking and climbing, you wouldn’t go for a sad, bendy sandal, would you?

Other than these scenarios, there is still a tremendous risk of overpaying for a product so simple as a shirt or a phone. Companies like Apple, have refused to lower their prices a long time ago. They know lowering their prices will hurt their reputation. Even if their latest product sales have been depressing when compared to their early sales rates, they refuse to lower the price tag. Marketing plays a huge role in whether the costumers think the price of the product shows the quality or is it is just unreasonably overpriced. And that is exactly what Apple uses to draw in more customers with such high prices.

Couple of years ago Stanford and CalTech carried out an experiment about how the price tag can change the way we enjoy products. The participants taste-tested two identical bottles of wine, however one of the bottles were more expensive than the other one. “According to researchers at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the California Institute of Technology, if a person is told he or she is tasting two different wines—and that one costs $5 and the other $45 when they are, in fact, the same wine—the part of the brain that experiences pleasure will become more active when the drinker thinks he or she is enjoying the more expensive vintage.

“What we document is that price is not just about inferences of quality, but it can actually affect real quality,” said Baba Shiv, a professor of marketing; “So, in essence, [price] is changing people’s experiences with a product and, therefore, the outcomes from consuming this product.”



Another very controversial company is: Supreme. They are notorious for their “minimalist” approach to fashion, simply gluing a huge red logo on white shirts and retailing them for unbelievably high prices. There is nothing wrong with liking such products however, my personal issue is the community formed around these items. Supreme products are desired by many not because of their quality but because of the “prestige” and the “statement” they bring. The company is surprisingly very self-aware; they know their fan base, they know who they are working for; and most importantly they know how to benefit from their followers. Couple of years ago, Supreme released a line of rare collectors items that shocked most people: These products included air horns, shovels, crowbars,bike pumps, toolboxes, even dog bowls; but the most notorious one was the brick. And of course, each and every of these products listed above, including the brick, had that well-known red logo on it. These items retailed for just a couple of thousands of dollars, the usual.

The brick, was the most remarkable item out there and was adored by many fans. In the summer of 2016, Supreme decides to release this satirical item as a joke.

A joke is when both sides laugh. However the fans were not laughing.

Fans all over the globe placed their orders in that night and woke up to a “horrific” scene the following morning. Most of the clay bricks they received were damaged during shipping, smashed to little pieces, then pulverized to a fine powder. A powder that is worthy of thousand and thousands of dollars.

Companies like Supreme, Gucci, Versace, LV, Apple have built a reputation around their high pricing and shaped their audiences according to them. They know that with their strong marketing, they can always keep up the gradient high, because there will always be fans who support them. This way of marketing yourself and being know to be expensive is a great way of showing to the customers that price IS the biggest indicator of quality.

It is true in most cases that high prices high prices DO mean either great quality or a bad value and low prices either mean bad quality or good value. These prices do not only depend on the cost of manufacture but also the name of the brand and the status it brings with it. But just because it brings a reputation along with it, it doesn’t technically make it a good product.


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