With our economy growing at below trend rates and wage growth stagnant, most industry sectors are heading towards polarisation between lowest cost value at one end and experience rich value at the other. Brands are either racing for the top or racing for the bottom.
While there is much commentary on how to ensure a brand can become more premium to escape the trap of being ‘stuck in the middle’, we wanted to focus this month on three ways to make sure your brands at the lower cost end of the scale can still maintain a point of difference above and beyond just price.
Have values, don’t be value:
Tapping into the belief system that motivates a consumer’s choice of your product frees up your brand to have a dialogue around values in common, not just value through price. Insurance companies and financial institutions position value in common through sharing their customers’ belief that they are savvy and informed choosers when they ‘unbundle offers’ to focus only on getting the parts they find important as individuals such as a low rate/low service mortgage or a lower annual insurance fee in exchange for a higher excess should something go wrong.
See the win, not the loss:
Be positive in your messaging and embrace the positive associations to your brand. Budget airlines such as Tiger and Jetstar tell the story of the destination they are taking you to, rather than focusing on the less compelling story of the journey there.
Car sharing companies focus on the flexibility and ease of picking up one in your local neighbourhood rather than the walk to the car and the need to return it by a certain time. Fitness centres focus on the constant availability a 24-hour gym provides rather than the lack of free weights or staff.
Don’t be boring:
Budget doesn’t have to be boring. Consumer research always supports that most people see a value alternative as an informed choice rather than a necessity so creating brands based on positivity, optimism and modernity always help your brand stay above the bottom of the pile. While some brands such as Aldi focus on looking austere to communicate their absolute value, well built value brands win through embracing and building a clear personality for themselves.
Value appliance brand Haier communicates an optimistic take on family and how they ‘inspire living’ through providing basic appliances that give you time back, where IGA with their Black & Gold value brand celebrate the choice of value through a fun a vibrant personality.