“You’ll Remember The Quality After You’ve Forgotten The Price”
“You’ll Remember The Quality After You’ve Forgotten The Price”. That brilliant string of words is attributed to Ed Sabol, founder of NFL Films whose son, Steve, died yesterday at age 69. Sabol used those words to create a business around “showing you what you’ve already seen”. Today NFL Films has become the apex of creativity and documentation.
As a long-time advocate of the concept that neither high price equates to quality nor does low price equal value, Sabol’s words are a powerful reminder of the value of quality. What is the value of quality? How is manifested into a product? Craftsmanship? Performance? Longevity? Dependability? All of those and perhaps more.
In today’s coupon scanning, BOGO infested, 70% off world the concept of quality seems to be missing from most brands and their marketing. Luxury car brands tout technology innovation – perhaps fearing the next recall will undermine any claims of quality. Apparel brands such as LL Bean and Lands’ End have left their quality stories behind to instead use “we’re old” (in LL Bean’s case 100 years old) or “we’re not like Sears” in Lands’ End’s case.
It’s too bad Ed Sabol was a film maker and not a merchant…not that I haven’t enjoyed Sabol’s love for slow-motion filming of America’s brutal sport.
It’s just that my sense is that Sabol, perhaps like Mickey Drexler of J Crew, followed very simple principles that were rock solid and undeniably brilliant.
Sabol seems to be a quotable guy. His late son, Steve, told of the time his dad in describing what NFL Films was about said, “Tell me a fact, and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth, and I believe. But tell me a story, and it will live in my heart forever.”
It must be unimaginably painful for a father to outlive his son. Ed, our prayers are with you and your family…but don’t stop sharing your wisdom with the world. It’s a better place because of them.