Well, it’s been a while but I thought it was time to start sharing some of my thoughts with you once again. I don’t know how many of you seen the Apprentice the other evening. It had, what is usually one of my favourite challenges, to build a luxury brand. Every year, it is tackled with varying levels of success from the candidates. I have a keen interest in this challenge as my company, the loft, is primarily about building premium brand identities.
The one thing that has to be remembered when building a premium brand is that you are not just selling any old product or service to anyone. You are asking the customer to make an emotionally led purchase. One that should resonate with the customer to make them wish to pay just that little bit extra. The funny thing is that this emotion can be absolutely anything and may have nothing to do with luxury. Some of the best examples I have seen recently involve personal fitness. Tough Mudders or Fight Camp are both experiences for the individual where you are going to put yourself through a living hell. A pool of blood, sweat and tears. And guess what, you are going to pay extra for that privilege. It would seem insane to some, but to the right person, it makes perfect sense. The reason certain people will pay extra is because they aren’t buying any sort of training programme, they are buying an experience, the ultimate badge of honour, the knowledge that there are fewer tougher experiences around.
What Fight Camp (in particular) does is massively play up to the image of the ‘ultimate training experience’ in both the experience and the way it is promoted. This is why they have such a strong identity and their product so memorable. It does make me chuckle how four trainers from Glasgow on a limited budget have made a better job of building a strong brand identity than some of the top multi-nationals with much larger budgets but maybe this comparison is an unfair one.
Going back to the Apprentice, it’s a shame Nick, who I am sure gets this, stood by on the sidelines and watched while Adam chucked everything but the kitchen sink into his shop concept. Anything and everything for anybody and everyone are not what premium brands are about. Premium brands are much more exclusive. The hot-chocolate idea was good, very good and with some clever variations would have been quite enough. You can have as many products as you like but as long as the brand has a core feeling, it will always be considered premium.
Message and consistency are what we are always preaching at the loft. Without these, there is a danger of confusion and a muddled identity. In an increasingly globalised and digital world, where it is a survival of the fittest, the only means of survival for Western Companies is to start thinking premium.
Where do we fit in at the loft? Well that special element exists in almost every company. Sometimes it’s quite well hidden. But we know how to find it and once we do, there is nobody better to help you build that compelling case to your audience. Be it in your digital presence or in print.
How do we do that? Well that’s another story for another time…
In the meantime, my money is on Ricky for tonight.
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