Ron Baker writes about the Japanese concept of “Atarimae hinshitsu” – taken-for-granted quality. Things should work as they are supposed to.
I’m also learning about “Miryoku teki hinshitsu” – enchanting quality. Things that have an aesthetic quality that is different from its functional quality.
When someone says they want a “quality” product or service, I assume that they are looking for the latter.
To me it’s ridiculous to think otherwise — I’m not buying something that doesn’t at least do what it says on the box!
In the context of creative services, where does that “enchanting quality” come from? I think it’s how clients FEEL about working with you.
Do they feel that you have their best interest? Do they stick with you even when the project isn’t going smoothly? Do they rave about working with you?
“Taken for granted quality” is table stakes, and clients can easily find someone to do the same for less money. So if we don’t want to compete on price, we have to kill it on the enchantment.