Popping bottles, cruising in flash cars and toting expensive handbags (with six month-plus waiting lists)…no, it’s not an episode of beloved Noughties MTV show, Cribs. It’s how (until fairly recently) we’ve all thought about ‘premium’ products and experiences. But attitudes are changing – and so must brands change with them.
We’ve identified the two factors driving this change, and we’ve got four recommendations for staying front of mind in this new age of premium.
Like most good stories, ours starts with a digital disruption
You may not associate the rise and rise of Uber, AirBnB and Amazon with premium living (at first). But actually, getting exactly what you want – when you want it – at the tap of an app challenges an idea at the heart of traditional premium and luxury brands. By making consumer interactions instant, seamless and personalised, tech brands have turned ‘premium’ from exclusive to empowered. And without the same benefit to trade off, luxury brands have already begun collaborating and experimenting with tech in order to create new products and services – which don’t always come with the hefty price tag.
Attitudes change, values evolve
As consumers, we think differently now. And our expectations of brands are higher than ever. No longer satisfied with the latest and greatest material things, today ‘having’ has taken a backseat to ‘being’. Experiences beat products, and brands with a point of view win out against those peddling the shiniest goods (or the longest waiting lists).
And no generation has been as influential as Millennials. (That’s right, them again.) Accounting for almost 30% of the world’s population and a mighty $2.5 trillion in spending power, this social group gravitates towards brands that reflect their personal values. Usually expressed through art, culture, cause and social good. Millennials buy premium products for themselves, not to impress others – which has affected how we all think, act and shop.
In a world where everything’s in reach, premium brands must find a way to maintain appeal. Walking into this ever-changing landscape unafraid to experiment and challenge their own status quo. Let us walk it with you.
Shake up the surface…
Where once premium brands were dictated, idolised and policed, today the most successful labels are unafraid to experiment with their brand, challenge the status quo of their aesthetic and collaborate with unlikely partners. Think Louis Vuitton x Supreme for a premium mash-up consumers can’t get enough of.
…but stay true to core values
Ahem. There is a small catch. Experiment and tear up the brand toolkit, yes, but never lose sight of your unique brand story. Be meaningful. Offering experiences that chime with consumers as relevant, genuine and true to the spirit you started out with. Who were you before you hit the big time? Strip off the diamond and furs and be that guy or gal again.
Make it shareable
Social currency always stands. Give consumers something worth talking about and sharing with others. Remember: it’s less about them wanting to show off, and more about what experiences say about them as an individual.
Think about what’s scarce, not what’s exclusive
Owning an exclusive means enjoying something others can’t. But what’s really scarce for Millennial consumers? How about time, honesty and individuality? Create unique products and experiences that give today’s consumers more of what they feel is lacking in their lives.