Quality or Cost?

As a business, you want to put your best face forward, but you also work within a budget. You want to make sure that your clients see the best of what you have to offer, but where do you draw the line? Quality is expensive, but if you cut too many corners you risk looking cheap and can often miss out on clients that you’re perfectly capable of handling. So when do you go with quality and when do you cut costs? Is there a happy medium?

As an example, we currently have product boxes in our sidebar and on our web design services page. They’re decent, but we wanted something that really portrayed what we offer. Since we produce high-quality sites, we wanted our visitors to recognize that quality as soon as they look at our packages. As we looked into redesigning these boxes, we realized there were plenty of choices. For example, we could have gone with $10 software like 3d box shot all the way up to professional 3d software packages like Cinema 4d that cost thousands. That’s quite a range in price and quality, so what should you do?

Our current boxes were created from a template in Adobe Illustrator. With a template the price is obvious… cheap. Now it doesnt look unprofessional but it doesnt look like a real product you can go to the store and grab off the shelf. It fits the budget, but it isn’t exactly what we want. Although we don’t offer any physical products, the visual marketing tool adds to its appeal and value. Our brains are programmed that better packaging equals a better product. So how do we do that in a cost effective way? I mean, even after you purchase the software you still need someone to use it which means hiring a professional (expensive) or training someone (also expensive).

We ended up deciding to use Cinema 4d to create realistic boxes, but it made us think. Why can’t small businesses have their cake and eat it too? Why can’t they get the quality they want at a price they can afford? We think you can.

We are looking to create a new service that offers everyone the ability to have the quality they need for the price they want. High end 3d product design at better rates based on creating 3d model setups that are already animated and waiting for your designs to be applied to them by our professionals. Eventually this will scale to all sorts of offerings, but the product boxes are a great test bed to work out some of the kinks, which is where we need your help. We need to find out exactly where the proper balance is. We have a video that shows our product boxes done in 3d. They both look real, but one is hands down the winner. The only draw back is that the lower quality version took about 20 minutes to render whereas the high quality version took over 9 hours! That is a drastic difference, and would directly affect the price point. Please take a look at the comparative video below and then vote in the poll to let us know your thoughts.


Product Boxes – Quality Comparison from Aaron D. Campbell on Vimeo.

The lower quality video isn’t just darker, the high quality one does more calculations on the lighting, reflections, etc, giving it more realism. Unfortunately, that realism takes time. Please take a moment and share your thoughts:

About Aaron D. Campbell

Owner and lead developer at BlueDog, Aaron has 10+ years of web development experience, it a regular core contributor to the WordPress project, and has released many WordPress plugins.
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One thought on “Quality or Cost?

  1. Álvaro Degives-Más says:

    Price matters. It’s what made China an industrial giant. It operates on a very simple premise: if I can deliver you roughly the same product but at 80% of its quality, but at half the price or even less than our key competitor asks, why would you rob your own pocket?

    Price obviously isn’t the only thing that matters, but it’s a whopping big part of the purchase decision. It’s still very much about getting a sound mix of the quintessential four Ps of product, placement, promotion, and price.

    That, and the almighty 80-20 rule. Focus on the big chunks of meat, wherever you see it. Quality is very nice (and who really hates good quality?) but in the end you have to give your customer a choice of only two out of the following three: high quality, speedy service, or cheap price. Especially in these times, “cheap” is an almost inevitable choice – whether us product quality freaks like it, or not.

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