Premiumisation: why brands are expanding in range

Premiumisation: why brands are expanding in range

The bet for brands: Premiumise to create value

Faced with the rise of private labels, national brands have a choice between two opposite strategies: to participate in the race to the lowest price, or conversely to assume a more qualitative positioning.

Faced with the risk of leveling down, more and more brands are deciding to differentiate themselves ‘from above’ by developing products whose added value justifies a higher price. This strategy, called “premiumisation” translates mostly by the development of a range that is complementary to the core market proposition, by offering more refined formulas or more specific packaging.

For a brand, premiumisation therefore assumes a wager that is both tactical and image-related. This allows the brand not only to cleverly circumvent the problem of price, but also to gain status by reaffirming its referential position. By launching an offer that is more qualitative, a brand proves its ability to challenge its category by offering something unique and without rival.

On the consumer side: a growing need for little “daily luxuries”

The economic crisis has led to a demand for offerings that brighten up a daily existence that many perceive as grim, even distressing. Consumers are thus turning to ‘little luxuries’: products of superior quality, a bit expensive in and of themselves, but which remain accessible to the majority. A nice dessert, an exceptional ham, a shower gel with an original formula… as many little desires that we have the means to pay for, as a way to compensate for the prevailing gloom.

Because what people buy, beyond a product, is also the promise of a moment of fun, a little delight, a separate experience that breaks up the routine. In the era of consumer therapy, the added value of products is also in the emotion they provide.

From the TV to the supermarkets: the impact of culinary trends on mass-consumption products

In the food industry, another phenomenon has clearly contributed to the development of a more premium offering: the allover increase in TV shows devoted to cooking. This ‘culinarisation’ of society now requires everyone to be more concerned about what they eat, focusing of course on quality products.

And on supermarket shelves, no category escapes this great sphere of influence: from the yogurt dressing to the soup … all products, even the most basic, are benefiting from this passion for eating well. Moreover, brands haven’t missed a beat and are associating more often with celebrity chefs to revive their classic offerings.

It is an exercise in style which has recently been borrowed by Herta, launching two references to its famous Tendre Croque as reinvented by Chef Serge Vieira. The operation was a success and two new varieties are expected soon.

Exposure via packaging

To be credible and to reveal to consumers the added value of its premium offer, the brand must of course create specific identity packaging. The color choices are then more distinct, with a generally denser palette. The typographical register is more cosmetic and styling is sleeker.

So there is an abandoning of an approach which is too narrative in favor of a more stylistic approach, which aestheticizes the product.

Moreover, the container is produced like a true gem. There is the play of materials (a soft touch effect, a contrast matte / gloss for example), a daring touch of gold or stamped silver foil, all appropriating style registers of distinguished forms, to reinforce the perception of exceptionality … in short, Beauty is at the service of the Good, in favor of an unforgettable experience.


Sarah Zannetti, Strategic Planner.

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