Marketing Lessons From Moi Moi Seller; Price vs Quality? Which One Should You Increase



There is a woman not too far from my office that sells moi moi every evening. I buy from her occasionally because her moi moi is quite good. 
She has different kinds.
 The one that comes with boiled egg, the one with fish and others. I like the one with the boiled egg. It’s a full egg tucked into the moi moi. I usually eat the moi moi and save the egg till the end.

 I then eat with delight.
Like I won a trophy.
moi

Small diversion: Some guys were debating somewhere online weeks ago about what the English name for moi moi is. The conclusion was bean cake. To me that is rubbish. Why should moi moi have an English name? Why can’t non Nigerians call it what we call it? Why are the Japanese not looking for an English name for Sushi?
End of rant.
Back to my gist.
Anyway, one day, I bought from her and when I opened the wrap, I saw a half boiled egg inside. I was livid. What kind of rubbish was that? She did not reduce the price, why is she now reducing the quality? I tried again after about a week and the situation was still the same. I stopped buying the “egg version” and moved to the “fish version”. I stopped buying from her eventually.
After a few weeks, a friend that buys from her told me she now puts full eggs in her moi moi. Good news. Bad news is that she increased her price. I started buying from her again and till today, I still enjoy my full fledged eggs.
Lol.
Business owners find themselves at this stage all the time. I did not envy the woman. Cost of doing business rises all the time. Raw materials, logistics, wages and so many other factors can increase the cost of doing business. If you are a taxi driver and the price of petrol doubles, your profits will decrease. If you sell suya and price of meat/cow increases, your profits will suffer.
As a business owner, what do you do when you are in such a situation? Do you increase your price or reduce your quality/quantity? The moi moi seller reduced her quality and she lost me as customer. She restored her quality and increased the price. This won me back.
There is no one stop solution to this because no one wants to increase prices but there is one thing I know: NEVER REDUCE QUALITY. There will always be inflation. If you keep reducing your quality everytime you are in this situation, your product will become so bad that those you are trying to keep will dump you and go for the superior products that is more expensive.
What do you think? Increase price or reduce quality?

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