Cost-benefit relationship

Langlebig. Long lasting, to work over many years; effective over a long period of time; functional, usable over an extended period of time.

Germans prefer products which last a long time, rarely need repair or replacement, and pay for themselves several times over. The unstable economic times of the 20th century have taught the Germans to calculate precisely and carefully the relation between investment and use.

Residential homes and automobiles in Germany, for example, are much more expensive than in other countries. On the other hand they are often of higher quality, meet higher standards. The Germans will pay more, however, for many other kinds of products, such as furniture, household appliances, tools, and clothing.

Many well-known, but expensive brands continue to command customer loyalty. They are of high quality and solid durability. They offer a sense of security to the German consumer.

Although Germans in general like the newest in technology, they are bothered by the fact that many electronics – computers, television sets, mobile phones – are improved upon in ever shorter product development cycles. In those cases it is rarely worth it to invest in expensive models.

Durability, reliability, and quality are product attributes not easily distinguishable. Durability is a question of how long a product lasts. Reliability is about how well it performs. And quality is a general term encompassing many product attributes, but focused primarly on craftsmanship.