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Brand Strategy   |   Marketing Communications


A High-End Brand Strategy is Not a Marketing Gimmick. It’s a Profit-Driver.

We often say that Ramey was built exclusively for high-end brands and high-performance organizations. In fact, if you check out our client list you’ll see some of the world’s leading brands fall into one (or both) of those categories.

I am sometimes asked, “what does it mean for a brand to be high-end – and why should it matter to me?”

High-end brands are the premium brands in their categories. Think of any category – it could be kitchen appliances, automobiles, apparel, even cat food. The brand or brands at the bottom of the category are commodities, fighting over margins and pricing, and easily replaced by the consumer. Mid-market brands also face margin pressure, although they typically have higher brand loyalty than lower-market commodity competitors.

At the top of the category are the premium brand(s). These are the brands that have sufficiently differentiated themselves in such a way that they have forged a sort of bond with their customer base – and are often aspirational to shoppers across the category. A brand can’t simply double its price and consider itself “premium.” It must offer some significant differentiation in terms of product design or quality, user experience, or the consumer’s path-to-purchase. That requires an integrated brand strategy, as well as flawless execution in web design, social media marketing, experiential marketing, and digital marketing.

But here’s the thing. A high-end brand strategy is sometimes assumed to be some sort of marketing gimmick. “Throw a nicer label on it and jack-up the price – and voila – you’ve got yourself a premium brand.” That’s simply not the case. A high-end brand strategy is instead a fundamental business objective to drive profits.

Here’s what I mean: One of our friends, Michael Silverstein of Boston Consulting Group, featured our work for Viking Range a few years ago in his book, Trading Up. Michael wrote about the “20/40/60 Rule,” which says that in any given category, the premium brand or brands drive 20% of volume, 40% of revenue, and 60% of profits. Again: Building a premium brand isn’t a marketing strategy, it’s a fundamental business strategy.

Wouldn’t you rather have a brand that drives 60% of your category’s profits?

We publish a lot of POVs on the subject on the Ramey blog, as well as on our site, Upward Home, which was created to deliver insights and observations about affluent consumers and the high-end marketplace. Here you will find innovative strategies and tactics designed to help you build brands, generate leads, and drive sales.

I hope that as you plan your campaigns for the year, you’ll check out our resources. And may you achieve great success in the year to come.

Chris Ray, CEO/PartnerChris Ray, CEO/Partner

 

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