This is the point in time when we start singing Madonna and how we all live in a material world, but, even we wouldn’t subject you to that. It is true however; we live in a world of want, except nowadays nobody actually wants to cough up the big bucks for premium products.

Thanks to technology and the rise of price comparison sites, the everyday consumer can check prices anytime, from anywhere, for just about any product. Whether it’s a car, a hotel, or even a bathtub, and naturally, if you can get it cheaper somewhere else, you will. Which leaves premium brands between a rock and an annoying website as they try to sell their goods for premium prices. Lowering costs to compete might be the obvious answer but it’s definitely not the right one as you’ll eventually lower yourself out of a business. So how do you compete against that bloody meerkat?

Essentially, it will always come down to what you say and how you say it. Your marketing, communications and the way you present your brand to the world will be the difference. Brands and retailers need to start realising that people will never stop looking for a bargain, price comparison sites have made it easier to hunt for one, and therefore they need to adapt and change to the world as it is today.

Define your value

People will always pay for stuff they believe in. As a brand it’s your job to get them to believe in you in the first place. Don’t pretend that cheaper versions of your products don’t exist, instead address them and point out the differences, whether it’s in quality or the service. The price of your product isn’t anything to hide, scream it out from the rooftops if you want to, but just explain why it’s a premium.

Be the difference

There are thousands of consumers out there who are prepared to pay premium prices, but can’t tell the difference. It doesn’t matter how silky your silks are or how high your thread count is, some people just cannot tell between high quality and low quality. That’s where your branding and advertising come in to differentiate you in the market place. Think about the ad campaigns you run and how you can make them stand out from other similar suppliers. Your tone of voice and creative advertising can build the perception of difference.

Lifting your product up and away from noisy, cheaper versions isn’t always easy, but it can be done. One brand we bow down to who did an incredible job was Sonos with their ‘You’re better than this’ campaign. By communicating their consumer’s daily struggles and elevating the status of those consumers, they’re able to charge premium prices for speakers in a market that is saturated with cheap versions. And by saturated we mean, you can go to Tesco and buy some speakers for £9.99 type of saturated.

And yet, with a flawless ad campaign and incredible communication, Sonos are happily charging their customers a premium price for speakers, and what’s more, customers are happily paying it.