Friday, February 9, 2007

If Everything is Premium...

The back to basics trend is coming.

We are being bombarded by an onslaught of premiumness. And it's begining to get so overblown that consumers are questioning this shouting match that trys to tell us that everything is now made from the finest ingredients and is the highest quality to be found.

These so-called premium brands are now exploiting themselves by becoming the staples of every new strip mall. They position themselves to be the category leader but then grow to be so common that their exclusivety is now lost in a sea of premium brand overkill.

Premium brands used to have an exclusive or unique quality that was supported by the old school theory of being "hand-crafted" in small batches in order to create a product that is not "mass". The current trend seems to destroy the premium positioning if everyone can access the brand and it is found in supermarkets, airports, drugstores and shopping malls.

If everything is exclusive, then nothing is exclusive.

The consumer can see through this overblown excess and will be looking for brands that are honest and humble in their presentation and origin. Look for a very Earth-friendly aspect to this trend as companies are also looking to exploit the less-processed and less impact to the environment trend. It's unfortunate because there will be a lot of good products out there that are truly striving to create a unique position in the market but get overshadowed by the big monster brands who will jump on this trend and oversaturate it.

Even the little guys who are putting an honest product on the market will get bought up and masss produced and thus watered down in an effort by the big brands to hop on this band wagon. It will be so wide spread that everybody will be driving a hybrid vehicle while drinking a Starbucks soy latte as they pull up to the GAP store to get a pair of hemp jeans.

-Ross Patrick

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