Masstige is a term which refers to a product or brand located between the mass and luxury markets. The word refers to products which are said to provide “mass prestige”. The term was first used in the early 2000s by brand consultants at the Boston Consulting Group, to describe products which supply the symbolic prestige of a luxury brand at a fraction of the cost. Between the exclusive, luxury end of the market, and the traditional mass market, is a rich area of opportunity in which you can engage with customers while also repositioning your brand.
For example, when the Porsche Centre in Abu Dhabi imports the Boxer, a model of Porsche which is around half the price of the 911 model, it is serving the masstige market. While a Boxer carries the prestige associated with having a Porsche badge on your car, its build quality and performance is closer to a mass market saloon, rather than a high-end luxury sports car.
If you wish to reposition your brand from the mass market to the masstige market, you should keep thse points in mind. Because you need to maintain a relatively low price point, the quality or build of the product or service you offer will not be substantially different to mass market goods or services. What will differ is the way the product or service is presented or delivered. Because masstige products are designed to create a symbolic sense of prestige, it is important that the design, packaging and marketing of your products are suggestive of a high-quality, exclusive lifestyle.
Your customers will be willing to trade up towards the masstige level if doing so offers them an emotional benefit. When designing your packaging and marketing campaign, it is important that you tell a story which your customers can buy into – and that the packaging is simple and elegant, with one badge or logo that the consumer can get behind. The Apple iWatch is an example of a brand which began to reposition itself from masstige to luxury.
When making the transition from a masstige brand to a luxury brand, the first thing you will need to do is reassess the availability of your products and services. One inherent contradiction of the masstige sector is that it offers a luxury feel to a large number of customers; but one defining characteristic of a luxury brand is that it is highly exclusive. If you are repositioning yourself as a luxury brand, to create a sense of exclusivity, you should limit the service or number of products you supply to your customers.
Next, you should consider the quality and price of your product or service. In many respects, the price of a luxury product is irrelevant, as long as it is high. High prices are required not only to cover the cost of delivering or producing a higher quality product or service, but also because part of the emotional buy-in from high-end customers is actually created by the increased cost.
Finally, you should consider how you will change your approach to marketing as you reposition your brand in the luxury sector. The marketing should portray your brand as offering a unique lifestyle choice to high net worth individuals. The best way to do this is by telling an authentic story about the pedigree and history of your brand and product.