Repositioning or revitalizing your brand can be a powerful way to gain new market share and boost your profits. One of the most effective rebranding strategies is premium brand repositioning or premiumisation, which is about establishing higher perceived quality or specialness in order to achieve increased profitability by enabling you to charge more for your products and services.
Premium repositioning involves elevating demand and customers’ willingness to pay higher prices for your brand by adding value, which may be either actual or perceived. Checkout the following premium brand repositioning tips to help you make your rebranding strategy a success and grow your revenues.
5 ‘Premium Positioning’ Rebranding Strategy Tips
1. Increasing Actual Value
It’s only natural that improving the quality of your products or services will allow you to charge more. With a premium brand repositioning strategy, adding actual value typically represents a larger financial investment upfront but in turn leads to steady and substantial long-term growth profitability which considerably outweighs the initial investment. Some examples of actual value increase include new innovations, sourcing higher quality materials for product manufacturing, redesigning with new premium features, or delivering higher service quality.
Technology companies are a frequent example of adding actual value to achieve premium rebranding, in an industry known for rapid evolution and innovation. One of the most well-known rebranding campaigns involved Apple, which faced near bankruptcy in the mid-1980s before founder Steve Jobs returned as CEO to turn the flagging company around.
Image via www.apple.com
Among several dramatic steps that included a partnership with primary competitor Microsoft, Jobs increased the actual value of Apple products and the company overall by eliminating a large, money-draining project, and introducing a new, sleek design for Apple personal computers with higher performance—the iMac, which would lead the way for the company’s best-known premium branded products in today’s mobile technology market.
2. Increasing Perceived Value
Premium brand repositioning that involves an increase in perceived value is a popular strategy because there is often less upfront loading and less ongoing capital investment, compared to the previous strategy mentioned, in order to achieve higher profits.
Adding perceived value to your brand requires engaging a rebranding strategy which causes a change in customer perceptions so that your products or services are considered to be worth more—even though you haven’t necessarily changed anything significant physically about the product or service. There are numerous strategies that can be deployed to increase perceived value. Some of them include:
- Product repackaging
- Brand name changes
- Shifts in brand association, positioning or affiliation
- Brand messaging shifts
We’ll explore some of these strategies in detail, all of which we’ve deployed with multiple clients over the years when enaging in premium branding repositioning strategies, with examples of brands that have successfully moved and repositioned to more premium markets through increasing their perceived value.
3. Premium Brand Repositioning Through Packaging Design
Birchbox, a subscription ecommerce company offering beauty products for women and men, underwent a premium rebranding campaign in 2013 that focused on its packaging, together with all its brand collateral. The company created a new global identity which included replacing its logo – with its light, somewhat illegible font and splatter style box – with a stronger modern, elegant sans serif font and a simple diamond, representing the ‘spark’ or ‘aha’ moment of the Birchbox brand experience.
Image via www.birchbox.com
The previous single shipping boxes were replaced with an inner box in a clean sophisticated brown with a silver foil embossed logo on it, designed to set off the boxes tissue wrapped interior contents to their best, and a colour-coded outer box with a large, monogrammed version of the new logo design – fuchsia pink for women’s products, and teal blue for men’s.
Image via www.birchbox.com
Adding an inner ‘gift’ box not only increased the aesthetic appeal of Birchbox, but also improved customer service, as the outer box tended to become slightly crushed or damaged during the typical rough and tumble of shipping or postage. In addition to the new packaging, Birchbox redesigned its website and messaging across all its brand collateral and communication channels.
Image via www.birchbox.com
Redesigning brand packaging as a premium rebranding strategy can be highly effective in shifting customer impressions of your brand and adding a stronger perceived value to your products or services, provided the total brand and product or service experience is congruent with what the packaging sells or communicates!
You won’t get a second sale or good ‘word-of-mouth’ if your packaging oversells and underdelivers in terms of product or service. In fact you’ll deservedly get so much negative customer sentiment both on and offline you’ll likely undermine your brand and its reputation, not to mention potential profitability even further.
4. Affiliations and Testimonials for Premium Brand Repositioning
Associations with well-known public figures, VIPs or trusted organizations can enhance your brand identity immensely and help accelerate your rebrand as a premium provider of products or services. A clear example of this theory in action are celebrity endorsements. People are willing to pay more for products or services when they have the perception that celebrities use them, which is why big brands continuoulsy shell out millions for endorsements from celebrities and VIPs, relevant to their target audiences.
Image via www.stylist.co.uk
And some brands just have the good fortune to be chosen by the much admired. High street brands such as LK Bennett, Reiss and Whistles when worn by the Duchess of Cambridge are well know for selling out of the favoured items in less than a couple hours – as are items from brands such as J.Crew when worn by the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. In fact Michelle Obamas’ endorsement of J.Crew has helped the fashion brand rebound from plummeting sales enabling it to reposition itself as a premium line of casual wear.
Image via www.jcrew.com
However aligning your brand with premium affiliations doesn’t have to cost your company millions either. Local celebrities can have a significant, positive impact on your brand positioning and contribute to a more premium perception too. For some companies, professional certifications and ties with trusted organizations also work to create premium brand repositioning and enhanced brand credibility.
Your brand can achieve a shift into the premium market through refined messaging that targets a more discerning marketing demographic. Many luxury brands use this strategy to increase perceived value of their products or services, by conveying their brand as a desirable “must have”.
Stella Artois is among the most in-demand beer brands in the UK. However, in 1976 when the brand was introduced, it was considered too strong, too different, and too expensive. When Frank Lowe took over marketing for the company, he launched an innovative campaign that transformed the perceived disadvantages into strengths. Using the tag line “Reassuringly expensive,” and a focus on the experience of the brand, rather than the taste, Stella Artois was effectively repositioned as a premium brand that still holds strong today.
Whether the focus is on increasing actual or perceived value, premium brand repositioning can be a powerful strategy for boosting your brand’s visibility, demand levels, and profitability.
Creative brand repositioning can revitalize a flagging brand and give new customers reasons to try your brand and existing customers new reasons to remain loyal to your products or services for years to come. As a rebranding strategy, repositioning is one of our most requested services from clients and one which has reaped them the most rewards, assuming everything else in the mix lives up to customer expectations or ideally exceeds them!
What do you think?
• Does your brand have a viable way to increase the actual value of your products or services?
• Would you focus on production values, customer service values, or both?
• What types of perceived values could you increase in association with your brand?
• Could your products benefit from a packaging redesign? How would you add premium value through your packaging?
• Are there any affiliations or professional organizations that would create a good premium association or match for your products or services?
• How would you shift your brand messaging to appeal to a higher value customer?