If you were looking for a great example of a premium product, offering premium value, sold at a premium price, what brand name do you think of? And conversely, what is the brand at the opposite (i.e., low) end of the spectrum?
I’ve been laughed at a few times recently when in conversation, to describe such a product, I’ve used the term “Cadillac” as that reference point.
“Bill, don’t you realize that most people under 40 have no affinity with the brand Cadillac, or that it stands for premium, if they even know it at all. Oh yea, and remember that General Motors is in financial distress.” More laughter (at Bill).
Yet twenty years ago; maybe even ten years ago, that expression would be spot on. I guess old (expression) habits are hard to break.
So I surfed a bit on this topic stumbled upon the blog post What makes a premium brand premium? by David Murphy, a brand strategist. He says we are willing to pay more for a premium product or service despite other offerings providing equivalent function because…
…a premium brand is built upon specific tangible and intangible attributes that give it a sense worth:
- Sensuality — it is sensory, tactile and a bit mysterious.
- Rarity — it represents a discerning choice, intriguing because it is uncommon.
- Confidence — it projects a feeling of intrinsic worth.
- Authenticity — is has a sense of “true north” and remains true to this ideal.
- Quality — it is consistent and shows extreme attention to detail.
Makes sense. And I still associate each of these attributes to Cadillac. But in my next conversation, I’m going to try a different premium brand to see what reaction that incites.