There are five common marketing strategies employed by accessible premium products:
1. Packaging. For many accessible premium products, unique packaging forms a basis for differentiation and a heightened customer experience. Fiji water comes in a square-ish bottle. Coach handbags are meticulous wrapped and presented to the customer in an expensive bag.
2. Back story. A well documented history of the brand or product, replete with stories of the founder and his or her original production facility is often associated with accessible premium products. It helps if the product is imported (Grey Goose is from France). In order to demonstrate the truthfulness of the statements and set the tone of the story of the brand history, many accessible premium brands have produced “promotumentaries” that play not only on the brand’s website but on mainstream television as well. Patron tequila has done a great job with its back story.
3. Unique production process and nomenclature. In keeping with a deep history of the product, the uniqueness of the production process itself and corresponding unique nomenclature is often employed as a marketing weapon. Starbucks in a way started this trend en masse by altering the normal roasting process and then providing customers non-standard names for serving sizes.
4. Celebrity endorsement. Celebrities seen using or carrying an accessible premium product is a common tactic for these brands. Whereas ultra premium products are often purchased by very wealthy but relatively obscure individuals, the difference between a successful and unsuccessful accessible premium product can be whether it catches on with celebrities. Fiji water and Coach handbags owe some of their success to celebrities and the magazines that publish photos of celebs and their stuff.
5. Niche events. It almost seems like a competition between accessible premium brands to find sports/parties/events to sponsor that strike a balance between appealing-to-most-consumers and niche. Grey Goose is associated with sailing. Rock & Republic sponsors industry events in Los Angeles. But in both cases the proceedings are also either promoted on network television or reported on in the mainstream press.
– from The Globe
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.