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Fit and Finish: New Marketing Buzzwords?

by Benjamin Reese, on Mar 27, 2014 4:09:00 PM

Fit and Finish: New Marketing Buzzwords?

Fit and Finish have always been important. But that doesn't mean they are always recognized. That is to say, even if consumers are evaluating a product’s fit and finish, they might not be aware that they are doing so. Apple is one company that decided to change that. Its new iPhone 5 is bringing awareness to product quality. And Apple is capitalizing on “fit and finish” to achieve one objective not typically associated with the terms in the past: a competitive edge in marketing.

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The “Official iPhone 5 Trailer” (published on YouTube on September 12, 2012) begins with Jony Ive, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Industrial Design, saying, “When you think about your iPhone, it’s probably the object that you use most in your life. It’s the product that you have with you all the time.” Assigning the product such value right from the start sets up viewers to expect some serious improvements.


The video goes on to discuss various changes in the iPhone 5’s design and content. Last to be mentioned are the product’s new fit and finish. “What makes iPhone 5 so unique is how it feels in your hand, the materials it’s been made with, the remarkable precision with which it’s been built,” Ive says. “Never before have we built a product with this extraordinary level of fit and finish.”

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Ive adds to this by providing details on the finish and manufacturing processes. He then states how such manufacturing precision “extends to how these many pieces seamlessly come together.” He even boasts: “The variances from product to product we now measure in microns.”


Maybe using such terms as “variance” and “fit and finish,” which are typically kept between those involved in the engineering and manufacturing of products, works in attracting consumers. After all, as of the day this post was written, the iPhone 5 trailer received 27,534 YouTube visitor likes and 10,973 dislikes.


On the other hand, maybe it does not. Some of the 20,000 plus comments following the video share opinions claiming that Apple has not changed the new iPhone much at all. Posts referring to the product simply being taller or to the video including “changes” that the consumers have seen before are scattered throughout comments of praise.


What do you think? Is using fit and finish in marketing effective? Is quality important enough to consumers for these terms to become selling points, or are they best worried about during design and manufacturing stages? 


Perhaps the only answers will come from waiting to see if “fit and finish” and other quality-related jargon find a comfortable place in the future of product marketing.


 By Kristy Erdodi



Engineering Talk - DCS's Blog on Quality and Engineering

Engineering Talk's focus is on discussing topics in dimensional and manufacturing quality to help inform professionals about current trends and technologies that are quickly becoming adopted in industry to combat common causes of manufacturing costs - scrap, rework. In addition, you'll find details about all of DCS's activities from webinars, events, articles, and software releases. 

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