Today, I went into a stationery store to purchase a package of “thank you” notes. When I receive something nice, I like to send something beautiful in return, and I love the feel of fine paper.
Crane & Co. is a brand I trust, but I wasn’t crazy about their basic designs — I was looking for cards thanking people for baby gifts, so I wanted something that was a little more fun and a little more artistic. Then, I spotted a box of Martha Stewart cards developed for Crane & Co. that were just what I was looking for design-wise — and at almost half the price of the standard Crane cards.
I should have known it was too good to be true. When I opened the box and pulled out the first card, I was crushed — the folded note card was printed on stock that had the same consistency of printer paper. I could have gotten something nicer at the local supermarket. It completely eroded the trust I had in both brands.
The same thing can easily happen when you’re planning an event. When you’re focused on the bottom line, don’t get so myopic that you forget about the quality of experience you’re offering. Help your boss or client understand what line-item costs mean, especially when going with the lowest price might create an experience that will negatively effect your brand.
Quality costs. But when the alternative is apologizing for how cheap things look, it’s a necessary business expense.