Quality is key to building a sustainable business

Oct 18, 2017 · 4 min read

Quality or quantity? This is the age-old question that stumps many businesses. On the quantity side, big box stores and ecommerce businesses have certainly found success delivering disposable products to consumers quickly. On the other hand, there is nothing quite as rewarding as making, selling, or purchasing a high-quality product. When I think of quality, I think of a well-made Swiss watch that hums away fifty years after it was sold, or of hand crafted leather goods that age gracefully over time.

In my mind, there really is no comparison, quality wins every time. So much so that I’ve built my company, Taft, on the idea that the best organizations are ones that focus on creating high-quality products first, and worry about everything else second.

With this article, I hope to win you over to the side of quality too.

Customers crave well-made products

While some might say that drone delivery, and high-tech plastic molding will cause labor-intensive high-quality products to go the way of the dodo bird, a number of companies that focus on quality are doing better than ever. Take Ferrari as an example, the company produces only 7,000 cars per year. Each one is built by hand with passion and craftsmanship. And yet, Ferrari has a market capitalization of nearly $30 billion.

Rolex is another example of a company that is obsessed with quality that is thriving today. Most Rolex watches sell for about $5,000. Some pieces like the Submariner work even 1,000 feet underwater. It is because of this attention to quality that the company is valued at nearly $9 billion today.

My point is, customers don’t just care about convenience and price point alone. Of course, these things are important to some degree, but customers also care about owning a high-quality product. Ferrari and Rolex are just two organizations that have developed tremendous cache because of their obsession with making the best possible goods.

Word of mouth business is the best kind of business

From a dollars and cents point of view, word of mouth business is far more sustainable than businesses that need to invest in complex marketing campaigns to attract customers. A great way for businesses to generate word of mouth customers is by making a product that is simply outstanding.

Simply scroll through your Instagram feed, and chances are there is someone on there extolling the virtues of a product that exceeded their expectations. In nearly every case, these types of endorsements occur because the product in question is well-made.

On the other hand, a product with shoddy construction is usually much harder to sell. Unsatisfied customers have the power to quickly squash a business simply by taking to social media or to an e-commerce site to leave a negative review.

There is nothing more rewarding than building something you can be proud of

Selfishly I can attest to the fact that creating a product that I can stand behind is a rewarding experience in and of itself. There is no better feeling than reviewing merchandise only to be impressed with the level of craftsmanship, care, and detail put into each shoe. I doubt the same can be said for those working in “disposable fashion,” which is often populated with people focused so much on price point that they discount the importance of creating a well-made product.

Recruiting is easier when your company makes something great

Regardless of the business you are running, success is dependent on hiring the best people. It is far easier to find outstanding employees when there is a mission they can believe in, and creating high quality products is one mission many people care about.

Take as examples the design centric mission of Apple, that made it possible to lure away engineers from less quality-conscious tech companies, or the noble work done by Shinola to create great products while revitalizing downtown Detroit, that allowed the company to find great craftsman quickly, as examples of what a brand focused on quality can mean for recruiting.

In my book, quality is always king. Producing goods that meet a price point but fail to make a statement that will stand the test of time is both soul crushing and bad business. Instead, I choose to dedicate myself and my company to creating products that customers can feel proud to wear for many years to come.

Creating high-quality products makes it easier to generate new customers, recruit talented people, all while meeting a ceaseless demand from customers who crave well-made items.


Written by


Direct-to-consumer designer shoes. Handmade in Spain. Account managed by Kory Stevens, founder & CEO. www.taftclothing.com

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