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Ciao,
we
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Sublimio.
We create impactful copy solid strategies stunning identities surprising names powerful logos wow experiences fascinating voices novel concepts slick visuals gorgeous videos strong brands
for meaningful brands. ambitious brands. unique brands. memorable brands. bold brands. outstanding brands. confident brands. daring brands. demanding brands. inspired brands. a tough world.
Andrea Ciulu Matteo Modica Strategist and Copywriter of Sublimio by Andrea Ciulu 4 MIN. READ 13.05.2024
Andrea Ciulu Matteo Modica Strategist and Copywriter of Sublimio by Andrea Ciulu 4 MIN. READ

Brand premiumization has become the go-to strategy for many companies that want to grow their revenues in a slow economy. It’s also a branding effort.

Amidst ongoing inflation and economic uncertainty, even as consumers seem to cut their overall spending, there is increased spending on premium products. 

It’s happening in categories as diverse as alcoholic beverages, bakery products, and pet food, where there’s a noticeable shift towards higher-quality, value-added options. For instance, in the beverage sector, there’s an increasing demand for experiential bars and premium spirits, reflecting a broader consumer interest in quality over quantity. 

It’s not surprising, then, that many companies are choosing a strategy of brand premiumization. While not devoid of risks, this path can bring new opportunities and entirely new types of customers. You have to do it right, though. And branding is a key factor in the success of this effort.

Starbucks Reserve

Understanding Brand Premiumization: The Basics and Beyond

Brand premiumization is a strategic approach aimed at enhancing the perceived value of a product or service, allowing businesses to target more affluent segments of the market and justify higher prices. 

In practice, it is often done by introducing new products or product lines (like the Macallan Harmony Line or the Budweiser Select) with characteristics that justify a higher price. But premiumization can also be applied to existing products that undergo a brand overhaul.

At its core, brand premiumization is about differentiation. This could mean sourcing better materials, incorporating superior craftsmanship, or offering enhanced services that go beyond the conventional expectations of the category. 

However, premiumization isn’t solely about the physical aspects of a product; it’s equally about perception. Effective branding elevates a product from a mere commodity to a part of the consumer’s lifestyle, enhancing the whole experience.

The psychology behind premiumization appeals to the consumer’s desire for status and quality. When a brand successfully communicates its premium nature, it not only attracts customers willing to pay more but also builds a deeper emotional connection with them. 

It’s worth noting that brand premiumization is not restricted to luxury items. It is a versatile strategy applicable across various industries including everyday consumer goods, where even small enhancements can shift consumer perception and open up new market segments.

Brands that apply the principles of premiumization can craft a superior image that will resonate with their target audience, setting the stage for sustained growth and profitability.

Brand premiumization is not restricted to luxury items. It is a versatile strategy applicable across various industries including everyday consumer goods.

The Role of Branding in Brand Premiumization

Branding plays a crucial role in the process of premiumization, as it helps the audience perceive the brand’s new dimension.

This does not only depend on aesthetic elements; it involves a comprehensive strategy that reshapes public perception and enhances the consumer experience.

Strategic Repositioning 

One of the first steps in brand premiumization is strategic repositioning. This involves aligning the brand with the values and expectations of higher-end markets. Repositioning may include refining the brand message to emphasize quality, exclusivity, and luxury. It also involves communicating a narrative that resonates with target consumers, often focusing on the craftsmanship, heritage, or innovation behind the products.

By carefully curating this narrative, brands can differentiate themselves in a saturated market and attract a demographic that values finer details and superior quality.

Visual Identity and Packaging

A critical aspect of brand premiumization is the visual identity and packaging. Upgrading packaging to be more elegant, using high-quality materials, and incorporating distinctive design elements can significantly alter consumer perceptions.

For example, minimalist design with subtle color palettes or luxurious textures often suggests sophistication and class, appealing directly to premium consumers’ tastes. This is especially evident in luxury food branding.

Enhanced Customer Experience

Brand premiumization is also deeply linked to the customer experience. This includes every interaction the consumer has with the brand, from browsing a website to unboxing a product. Premium brands often invest in superior customer service, personalized experiences, and exclusive member benefits.

Enhancing the digital experience, for instance, by integrating augmented reality (AR) or offering VIP customer services, can make the brand feel more accessible while maintaining an air of exclusivity.

Consistency Across All Touchpoints

Consistency is key in brand premiumization. Every touchpoint, whether it’s an advertisement, product, or customer service interaction, should reflect the premium nature of the brand.

This consistency helps to build trust and credibility among consumers, reinforcing the brand’s premium positioning.

brand premiumization Budweiser Select Beer
Budweiser Select line

Assessing brand premiumization from a branding perspective

Is brand premiumization the solution to all worries? Certainly not. While the world of premium looks appealing, it is not a blue ocean at all.

Going there means fighting a different fight, often challenging brands who have been at this for much longer. So, you need to be sure you go all in and make the premiumization effort look believable.

At the same time, you don’t want to lose sight of your traditional audience, which might be put off by your new premium clothes. While their spending may have slowed down, they are at the core of your brand’s success.

Find ways to make them feel involved in the change, or to make this new chapter of your story feel like a natural evolution, grounded on the same values that got you this far.

AUTHOR Andrea Ciulu Copywriter & Strategist Andrea Ciulu Matteo Modica Strategist and Copywriter of Sublimio
CATEGORIES BrandingStrategy
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