Since the recession hit, quite a few years ago now, I've been reading articles on consumer trends. We are told that people are flocking into the likes of Aldi and Poundland, and that this is evidence that customers are prepared to compromise standards to save a few quid. Nice story ha? Shame it's a complete load of bollocks!
I've been doing my own consumer behaviour surveying (for some years) and it turns out what people are looking for is value, and companies not giving good value for money go broke, whatever the prevailing economic conditions. So why are people buying more groceries from Aldi, I'll tell you why - because they are of a high quality, and sold at a good price. Perhaps when cash is tight customers are more motivated and so get the most value out of every pound, which forces them to the best value purchasing solution more quickly, but believe me people won't buy rotten vegetables from Aldi (or anyone else), and Poundland will never be caught trying to shift Romanian toothpaste! So please, let's stop peddling this crap and use a bit of common sense.
Good value is exactly that, and what's offered bears no relation to a sane person buying it - it is what it is. And just the same way retailers traditionally thought of as being at the budget end of the spectrum will, if they have the best offering, see their car parks fill up with Mercedes as well as Mondeos, those perceived as exclusive brands will also have wider appeal if they do the same.
We've been called 'Posh Plumbers', 'Plumbers To the Stars', even 'The Millionaires' Plumbers', but never by me. As far as I'm concerned what we've been doing since I started the business in the basement of an estate agent's office, in Pimlico, in 1979, is provide a high quality service at a fair and transparent price, in short offer good value for money. I'm under no illusion that had I not done that from the beginning I'd have gone skint years ago, probably 1980. So call us what you want, and if turning up on time, in smart vans that don't break down (or leak oil outside your house), is posh then so be it. And when the engineer in the neat, clean uniform, gets out of his van, plumbs with aplomb, because that's how we trained him, then cleans up the mess, and produces a detailed, itemised invoice, maybe that's posh too? Whatever it is, we are, just like Aldi, reporting more customers than ever before (the numbers don't lie last year we turned over a record £17 million).
So here's a consumer trend for your flash marketing magazine - it's the economy stupid! It ain't rocket science - customers just want to receive good value for their money!