High Performing Business – Quality – Making the Grade
Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT
In the retail world, the big name brands commonly make lower grade products for the big box stores who demand the lowest prices for their customers and also for different levels of customers. For example Black and Decker tools are made by the same company as Dewalt tools. Black and Decker tools are a lower grade for the consumer market whereas Dewalt tools are a higher grade made for professonials in the trades. Many manufacturers also make lower grade versions of their product for stores like Walmart who go for the lowest price. For example, if you purchase a Briggs and Stratton lawn mower from Walmart, it is a lower grade than what you would get at a store that specializes in lawn care products who charge more and offer more service.
Understanding the grade of your offering depends on the type of clientele you wish to service. For example, the people who enjoy shopping at Nordstrom (a high grade supplier of products) are typically not the same clientele who enjoys shopping at Walmart. Yet there are people who expect the Nordstrom experience at Walmart prices and don’t quite grasp why it is they are paying a higher price at Nordstrom for higher grade products than what you can find at Walmart. For the company making the higher grade product, success comes when they focus on targeting the more sophisticated consumer who understands this grade differential. The key then is to stay consistent to the grade integrity of the brand along all lines of the value chain interacting with their market – from the quality of their marketing material, detail of customer service approaches, to the ease of use of the end product and the outstanding results the end user experiences.
Quality is not the same as grade – low grade products can have significant quality – just look at MacDonalds – it’s the same low grade products worldwide – a MacDonald’s cheeseburger tastes the same in Prague as it does in Pittsburgh – that is quality. Yet no one would consider a MacDonald’s cheeseburger to be a high grade product. And on the other hand, high grade products can have low quality – just look at the Jaguar car where the joke is when you purchase a Jaquar, you also need to purchase your own mechanic.
In a wide sea of providers for helping people prepare to pass the PMP exam, at Cheetah Learning, we consistently stand out as the high grade and high quality supplier. The majority of our business is from word of mouth from people in the companies and organizations worldwide who employ the most intelligent people who want a solution they know they can trust (high quality) to help them achieve their desired results, and do it fast (higher grade). Places like MIT, Stanford, Sandia Labs, etc all have Cheetah graduates on staff. It is discerning people who grasp the value of their time and understand that achieving great results quickly is worth the price for the experience who become Cheetah graduates. The folks who are looking for the least expensive way to take a PMP exam prep program are akin to the power tool shopper who picks a black and decker power tool over a dewalt power tool. They are shopping based on price, not the overall quality of the experience or end result they will have using that product. Those who get there is a significant difference in how Cheetah does accelerated exam prep and want to make sure they use their time (and money) wisely, opt for Cheetah’s high grade, high quality solution.
Think about the difference in grade and the quality of the experience you would prefer to have the next time you are shopping around for any product or service. With Cheetah Learning it is possible to have both a high grade and a high quality experience – it’s why we have stayed the market leader for Accelerated PMP exam prep for the past 15 years. To check out just why we are so different in helping people pass the PMP exam at Cheetah speed, download Cheetah’s free Smart Start Guide for the PMP.