High-end brands should embrace ‘democratisation of premium’

More high-end brands should consider price promotions and distribution through discounters to take advantage of what a new report calls the “democratisation of premium”.

ShopperCentric report looks at perceptions of premium brands.
ShopperCentric report looks at perceptions of premium brands.

The study, by ShopperCentric, found more than half (59 per cent) of shoppers believe premium brands that never offer discounts are out of touch with customers. More than a third (37 per cent) believe these brands “don’t care about their shoppers”.

Three quarters (74 per cent) of shoppers “love” finding premium brands on offer and 61 per cent only ever buy premium brands when they are discounted.

There is, however, a need for a balanced promotional strategy to use discounts to offer shoppers an occasional opportunity to indulge or a loyalty reward, rather than creating a “continuous expectation”, according to Danielle Pinnington, managing director of ShopperCentric, as 59 per cent of shoppers say discounted prices make them question if the full price is too high.

ShopperCentric’s report outlines what it calls the “democratisation of premium” claiming 70 per cent of shoppers don’t care where they buy brands and 60 per cent “hate the snobbery” around premium brands.

Just 16 per cent of shoppers feel upmarket stores are the only places to buy premium brands, suggesting brands not extending their distribution into retail channels such as discounters are missing out on potential sales.

Pinnington adds: “Brand owners need to acknowledge that times have changed. Shoppers expect bargains and are being more considered in their purchasing. The retail landscape has shifted: although still relatively small, the discounters are growing and more and more shoppers are adding them to their repertoire. So, considering these changes, brand values may also need to flex to make sure the brand stays in touch with its showroom and shopper.  Vanity is simply too expensive to maintain in the current climate.”

ShopperCentric surveyed 1,000 nationally representative UK adults responsible for household spending.

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