What makes us better? – September 8, 2016

Consumers often buy product based on their brand name. After all, it’s a “known commodity”.

Buyers of fine quality goods often do the same. After all, who could ever question the quality of a Rolls Royce or a Maserati, right? They’ve got to be good? Look at how much they cost!

The story is told of a couple in the city that were furnishing their home and, wanting to make wise decisions, sought out artwork and furnishings that, as best they could ascertain, would at least retain their value if not appreciate over time.

One of the objects that they needed was a Chester drawer. All of their research kept pointing them towards a brand that did not particularly look that much different than the other pieces of fine furniture that were available but, inevitably, received higher scores and a higher price! Much to their surprise and delight, the manufacturer of this furniture happened to be located in a mountain area no more than an hour’s drive away from their home. This presented them with an adventure, a nice drive in the mountains, an opportunity for discovery!

Arriving at the address coordinated by GPS, they were less than overwhelmed by the simple building that awaited them. But, upon entering and explaining why they were there, they were introduced to the furniture maker himself.

They immediately explained their dilemma. Why should they pay more for his furniture?

Leading them back into the work area where the furniture was produced, they came to a nearly completed Chester drawing. The artisan pulled a drawer from the chest that responded solidly and smoothly to his use of force. But, to their surprise without saying a word, the artisan removed the drawer and, turning it over, asked them to rub their hands across it and observe the finish. It was excellent. A real work of art.

“But, who would know?” asked the couple.

The furniture maker responded, “I would.”

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