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What is Perceived Quality?
Perceived quality can be defined as the customer's perception of the overall quality or superiority of a product or service with respect to its intended purpose, relative to alternatives. Perceived quality is, first, a perception by customers. It thus differs from several related concepts, such as:

a) Actual or objective quality: the extent to which the product or service delivers superior service
b) Product-based quality: the nature and quantity of ingredients, features, or services included
c) Manufacturing quality: conformance to specification, the "zero defect" goal

Perceived quality cannot necessarily be objectively determined, in part because it is a perception and also because judgments about what is important to customers are involved. An evaluation of washing machines by a Consumer Report expert may be competent and unbiased, but it must make judgments about the relative importance of features, cleaning action, types of clothes to be washed, and so on that may not match those of all customers. After all, customers differ sharply in their personalities, needs, and preferences.

Perceived quality is an intangible, overall feeling about a brand. How-ever, it usually will be based on underlying dimensions which include characteristics of the products to which the brand is attached such as reliability and performance. To understand perceived quality, the identification and measurement of the underlying dimensions will be useful, but the perceived quality itself is a summary, global construct.

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1. Performance: How well does a washing machine clean clothes?
2. Features: Does a toothpaste have a convenient dispenser?
3. Conformance with specifications: What is the incidence of defects?
4. Reliability: Will the lawn mower work properly each time it is used?
5. Durability: How long will the lawn mower last?
6. Serviceability: Is the service system efficient, competent, and convenient?
7. Fit and finish: Does the product look and feel like a quality product?

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1. Tangibles: Do the physical facilities, equipment, and appearance of personnel imply quality?
2. Reliability: Will the accounting work be performed dependably and accurately?
3. Competence: Does the repair shop staff have the knowledge and skill to get the job done right? Do they convey trust and confidence?
4. Responsiveness: Is the sales staff willing to help customers and provide prompt service?
5. Empathy: Does the bank provide caring, individualized attention to its customers?

Source of Reference:
David Aaker, Managing Brand Equity, Free Press. You can obtain this excellent book here

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