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Imperfection can also be a source of delight and customer satisfaction

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Who said satisfaction stems from perfection. Imperfect products can also lead to enjoyment and satisfaction.
Take for instance the example of Merci, a premium retailer located in Paris that attracs trendsetters from all over the world. They just started a temporary exhibition entitled “Imparfait, Nobody’s Perfect” (“Imperfect, Nobody’s Perfect” in English) which is dedicated to imperfect products : art works, serial products exhibiting failures and defects, but also some more traditonal products that are hardly perfectly reproducible and entail therefore a part of randomness in their DNA.

Defects, when they don’t impede the functionality of a product, can indeed become valuable. They underline the uniqueness of a product and can increase its value (like in the case of stamps, the rarity and value of which is sometimes commanded by printing errors, e.g. The Two Penny Blue Stamps and the The ‘Mauritius Post Office Error’ Stamps). What is different with Merci’s exhibition is that defects get promoted; rather than being eliminated through the manufacturing process (like stamps were eliminated when the printing process went wrong), some of the objects displayed at Merci were actually produced imperfect on purpose. Watch for instance the video of the jars “Le Parfait” (what a name !) that got distorted on purpose.

We are not so far from a Wharolian experience where the most common objects become Art. Wharol desecrated the Art of painting and invented the concept of serial painting, breaking a dogma that had been pertaining for centuries : a painting had to be unique. The objects on display at Merci also fit within the scope of Art; the concept of series, manufactured homogeneity, is broken to give its object an identity back.
Who said life was an eternal restarting ?

Images: @mercishopparis

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Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Pierre-Nicolas est Docteur en Marketing et dirige l'agence d'études de marché IntoTheMinds. Ses domaines de prédilection sont le BigData l'e-commerce, le commerce de proximité, l'HoReCa et la logistique. Il est également chercheur en marketing à l'Université Libre de Bruxelles et sert de coach et formateur à plusieurs organisations et institutions publiques. Il peut être contacté par email, Linkedin ou par téléphone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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