Product quality and value trump brand in the process of deciding what to purchase and who to buy it from according to a Millard Group online survey. The results come from more than 66,000 respondents. Thirty-seven percent of the respondents listed quality as the most important factor, and 26% cited price. Only 2% pointed to brand as the deciding factor in making a purchase.
For a long time, I’ve thought that brand was an over-rated, or at the very least misunderstood, aspect of marketing. I think brand is a subset of permission. Customers give permission to marketers to sell to them. During much of the twentieth century, brand acceptance was the mechanism for granting that permission. Brand names indicated quality.
Today’s proliferation of products and services combined with a multitude of ways to purchase has lessened the importance of brand as a quantifier of quality and value. When people can turn to the Internet to check out quality reports from actual users of a product or service, brand loses its importance as a value identifier and permission earner.