Beyond Quality – Understanding Product Minimum Viable Quality (MVQ) with Pricing

Beyond Quality – Understanding Product Minimum Viable Quality (MVQ) with Pricing

There was this conversation on my LinkedIn update on Tecno winning a 2019 phone of the year award.

Comment: Tecno took down Samsung according Prof. But Tecno remains China fake phone. You buy Tecno of 40k compare to Samsung of 70k but Samsung will like for 10 years while Tecno just 2 years. There is no way Samsung is being compared to Tecno in terms of quality. Tecno is a business strategy of China, forget the standard, push it in African market, where standard organisation doesn’t exit. There is secret behind Chinese fake phones that people don’t know. If standard organisation is working in Nigeria for instance Tecno will not enter Nigerian market.

My Response: Ben – you need to read this piece; Minimum Viable Quality (MVQ). . You are totally off in your imagination that because Tecno is affordable that it is “fake”. In Walmart, you can get a toy car for $10. If you walk further, there are places they sell toy cars for $2,000. That a working mom decides to give her child $10 toy while Prince Harry buys the $2,000 toy does not diminish the makers of $10. That $10 car can last for 24 hours while the $2k can go on for 5 years. But moms are smart to make the call.

You have agreed that Samsung is more expensive because maybe it offers higher quality. But some people just need phones. In your home, I know you will prefer an electric bulb that costs say N350 ($1) but can last for 3 months than the ones used in airport towers that can go for $4,000 but can last for 15 years.

This is strategy – give Tecno respect

Minimum Viable Quality (MVQ)

I wrote a piece on MVQ to help on understanding quality and pricing.

The deal is this: the construct of quality has no meaning until the price of the product is put into considerations. I always ask entrepreneurs to build for the Minimum Viable Quality (MVQ) bounded by the product target price which market will respond. You can build rockets to fly around the world: that is an engineering possibility. But does that make a business sense if no one can afford it? Ask the makers of Concorde for answers.

You can make an electric bulb like the ones used in airport towers that can go for 15 years costing $4,000 each. But people still will want the $1 that can last for 6 months.

A mom buys a $10 toy car even though Prince Harry goes for $2,000 toy car. It  is an illusion to compare the quality of that $10 car and the $2,000 one. Yet in markets, the $10 will win.

Minimum Viable Quality (MVQ) is important. Do not think Toyota cannot make cars as rugged as Mercedes Benz. Comparing quality without the constraints and bounds of price is an illusion.

This is my response to the debate on smartphone quality to help deeper insights..

Mastering China’s Minimum Viable Quality (MVQ) Strategy


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2 thoughts on “Beyond Quality – Understanding Product Minimum Viable Quality (MVQ) with Pricing

  1. As always, a solution that is not affordable is no solution at all.

    Several companies have gone under, simply because the number of people who can afford their products wasn’t big enough to keep them in business.

    It is not enough to build the best and high quality products, if the market size isn’t big enough to keep you afloat, you will still close shop, irrespective of how well people love your products.

    No matter how great your products are, if you are not selling enough, the death is a certainty.


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