You know that brand that you trust, that product that is worth going out of your way for, that company that just gets it? For me, that brand is Vallejo paints.
I admit it. I am a geeky tabletop game enthusiast and I paint miniature army men in my spare time. I have been around the block with quite a few brands of paint. Some don’t have a good pigment-medium mix and some simply have a terrible container. But Vallejo gets it. The paint color is rich, the consistency is perfect, and I’ll never go back to another type of paint bottle.
That experience I have had with Vallejo is what a brand is all about. A brand is not just a typographically friendly company name with a graphic element mixed in somewhere; that is just a logo. Your brand is the experience people have and, ultimately, how people feel about your company and your products.
This experience isn’t created by any one person or group in your organization. Your engineers and developers have designed and created a good product, your sales department has cared for your clients and made them promises, your manufacturing and shipping teams have kept those promises, and your marketing department has given this whole experience a face and a voice that your clients can identify with. If one of these areas is lacking, then the experience (your brand) will feel the pinch.
I have had a particularly bad experience with a certain electronics brand that I’ll just call the C brand. I have owned exactly five C brand electronics. Exactly five of those devices had electrical defects either out of the box or within a few months of casual use. My poor experience with their support staff aside, how do you think I now feel about the C brand? I definitely do not associate quality with that brand. I am pretty confident that that any Blu-Ray player that I buy from them has not been quality assured and will stop working within six months. Contrast that experience and my history with the Vallejo brand. I am confident that the next time I open a new bottle of Vallejo paint, the color will be rich, the coverage and texture will be fantastic, and I won’t waste a drop.
Did the quality of this product just happen by accident? Of course not. One of the ways Vallejo tests their paints is by using it themselves in studio paint projects. Paying professional artists to regularly paint models to studio quality is a relatively significant cost to a small Spanish paint company. One might even ask if it is really worth it. I would submit that it is worth every Euro because that level of quality assurance gives Vallejo a competitive advantage. They stand head and shoulders over the other brands available to me. Quality is part of my experience with them and a vital piece of their brand.
You might ask yourself what all of this has to do with cable testing. Well, budgeting time is upon us. It is worth evaluating the cost of quality. Is cable testing really just a necessary evil? You could look at it that way. Alternatively, you could consider it as an opportunity to leverage quality as a vital part of your brand and give yourselves that competitive advantage.
Further Reading:How to Make Cable Testing a More Positive Experience