When I was a kid there was a sign on our farm gate that read, “Committed to Quality”.
Seems like a weird thing to see on a rusty old farm gate, right?
But it was the slogan of the Australian Jersey Breeders Society at the time and, as dedicated society members and as hardworking dairying people, we took every excuse we could find to tell the world how good Jersey milk was compared to the watery stuff you got from those black and white cows everyone else had.
Not to get too deep into 1980s West Australian dairy farming politics but, at the time, Jerseys were becoming increasingly rare in the dairy industry. While the quality of the milk they produced was better (it’s creamier, richer, higher in protein), they didn’t produce as much of it as Holstein-Friesians. Farmers were selling milk to a quota, so volume won over quality.
Yet there we were, differentiating ourselves in the market, shouting from the rooftops about quality.
It does something to you, psychologically, to read the words “Committed to Quality” every time you arrive home—knowing everyone who drives past or comes to visit or do business with you also reads it. It’s a real flag in the ground. It says: Quality starts here. We do things properly. We care.
I was thinking about this the other day, as I was doomscrolling news items and analysis about the potential effects of AI on the content creation industry, and on writing in particular.
Now, I can’t claim that everything I’ve ever written is Pultizer Prize–worthy, but I do know that I always aim for a high-quality result. I research, I read widely, I take my time on the writing, I double-check and cross-reference, I read through and I edit. Then, when I’m happy with the result, it goes for professional proofreading—that ultimate marker of quality in publishing.
While we sit at our desks panicking that AI is coming for us, it’s worth remembering that being “Committed to Quality” is still an excellent flag to stick in the ground. When we commit to quality, we’re saying something about our brand. Not just about what we stand for, but about the respect we have for our audiences. Let me tell you plainly that, at Typeset, that commitment to quality also increases our margins. Quality is an investment.
Conversely, when you choose the easy option, the fast option, the low-quality option, the bulk option, the cheaper option, you’re saying something altogether different about your brand, and what you think about your audiences. It’s the equivalent of reading a sign saying “Committed to Quickly and Cheaply Getting this Out of the Way” every time you turn in your driveway. What’s the long-term psychological effect of that?
“Committed to Quality” might have been an outwardly weird slogan to read on a farm gate, but it’s still a fantastic way to differentiate yourself from those who prioritise something other than quality.
“Committed to Quality”: Write it on a sign and stick it on your office door.
20 June 2023
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