Positioning your brand in the sweet spot

Consumer attitudes around mass and class brands and that complex dichotomy of aspiring to both have created an interesting opportunity for brands that can target that sweet spot in the centre. Social media and the sharing economy has become an invaluable way for brands at both ends of the spectrum to engage with their consumers. Brands like Kmart have huge online social communities endorsing their products. Whilst luxury brands know that there is a market available to them if they can successfully leverage their status and “step down” to “masstige”, Celine recently started selling a $700 plastic bag, tapping into that sentiment.

What’s interesting is that consumers don’t necessarily belong to one group or the other. You may aspire to a luxury aesthetic but look for more attainable goods and services where you get the benefits of quality, style, a rarity but without the luxury price tag. This market has exploded with small, boutique brands that have positioned themselves right in between mass and class. So what are the secrets to hitting this sweet spot and getting your product to sell? There are a few key principles to consider:

  1. Establish your value. What is it that makes your product or service more valuable than a mass-produced version? Is it the quality of materials used, is it ethically sourced, is it your unique design? Value is not about money, it’s about meeting a need for the consumer that inspires them to go to you rather than a cheaper competitor. Understand what resonates.
  1. Leverage your story to both endear yourself and your products to your customer. The key advantage boutique brands have over mainstream ones is their story, so leverage yours and put it into your brand, even if it requires some bravery to put yourself out there. Talk about yourself, your creators, why you do what you do.
  1. Leverage your audience. The beauty of being a boutique brand or a start-up is that by storytelling and engaging with your community, you are establishing a relationship that enables you to understand them. Ask your community why they buy your product (or why they don’t), engage with them via polls, groups, surveys and see what drives them and what makes them tick. Understand what positions you in that premium luxury space? Is it your quality, your design or your image, is it your social strategy and working with micro influencers or other trusted peers? Learn and do more of what is endorsed.
  1. Be consistently aspirational. If you want to target a luxury audience you need to take that aesthetic and run with it across all aspects of your business. You can’t have a beautiful luxurious swimsuit made from Italian Lycra and get a friend to photograph it for you to save a few dollars. Ensure your branding is always en pointe, and that this translate across all of your marketing channels and consumer touchpoints.

Melanie Aslanidis, Founder, Beachside Collective

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