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Apples to Oranges

Written By: 
Marc Blitstein / President & CEO

If you were to pen a review of a Hyundai Sonata would you compare it to a Mercedes S550? Of course not. While the Sonata is a great automobile, it hardly compares to the luxury brand leader’s flagship car. And at 1/5 the price of the Merc, how would anyone expect them to be equals?

So when I read reviews comparing our entry level or mid-tier products to a competitor’s top of the line models I get understandably upset.

It’s not that I don’t want comparisons. In fact, I relish them SO LONG as they are fair. In a comparison of equivalent products I am confident we will not only stack up, but in most metrics beat the competition. Performance, warranty, build quality and price. In my experience, MOST comparisons ARE fair, but every so often a customer (almost always disgruntled) makes these inappropriate assessments that put our product in a negative light.

I recently read a review of our entry level pro scope – the 619 comparing it to the Littmann cardiology scope – their top of the line model. I would be the first to admit that their Cardiology scope is superior to our 619 in virtually every way. And it should be at more than 7 times the price. Ironically, comparing OUR Cardiology scope (top tier) to Littmann’s Classic III (mid tier) is a fairer comparison on the basis of cost as their MSRP’s are similar.

So what are fair comparisons? While its hard to define, a proper comparison is based on the “positioning” of the products, factoring in MSRP. You probably wouldn’t compare a Mc Donald’s burger to a gourmet burger at a sit down restaurant. But you might compare McDonald’s to Burger King and Wendy’s. Likewise, you wouldn’t compare a Rolex watch to a Casio G shock.

In our core product categories of Stethoscopes, sphygs and temp measurement, we’ve developed a very broad product portfolio with numerous feature sets and pricing tiers. Our top of the line versions often cost dozens or even hundreds of times that of the entry level version. In temp measurement, for example, our single use 60 second stick thermometer costs about 1/7 the price of our 2 second super fast model. Our electronic stethoscope sells for a whopping 150 x that of our least expensive single patient use scope.

When looking to make an informed purchase decision, compare like products and THEN Choose the product that’s right for you.