German Approach

For Germans, quality is technical in the sense of the four product characteristics mentioned above and others. They strive to go beyond the expectations of the market.

The German engineer is part scientist, inventor, tinkerer and, in some ways, artist. Quality is a product characteristic of such high importance that is only rarely put in relation to the price.

American Approach

For Americans, quality is always a function of price. In fact, it's all about value, about the relation of output to price. Quality, in the technical sense, is an important product characteristic, but one of several.

German View

Germans clearly view their products as possessing higher quality than American products.

American View

Americans agree that Germans products are of very high quality. At the same time, they are considered to be high- even over-priced. Secondly, the American economy allows for products of differing quality levels, some high, some low, many in between.

There is a broader scope. Some people cannot afford to buy the best product. For many the price is decisive.

Advice to Germans

Discussing the issue of quality is significantly important. But at the same time it is a sensitive, often highly charged topic. It goes to the heart of your product philosophies. Entering into a dialogue is, therefore, critical for successful collaboration.

The questions are always the same: What does the market expect? Should these expectations be met or surpassed? What about your competitors? How is quality defined? Is it based on purely technical standards? On the needs of the market? Who is driving those expectations? You on the product creation side or those on the market side?

Advice to Americans

Discussing the issue of quality is significantly important but at the same time a sensitive, at times highly charged topic. It goes to the heart of your product philosophies. Entering into a dialogue is, therefore, critical for a successful collaboration.

The questions are always the same: Was does the market expect? Should these expectations be met or surpassed? What about the competitor? How is quality defined? Is it based on purely technical standards? On the needs of the market? Who is driving those expectations? You on the product creation side or those on the market side?