How to create a premium brand

Premium brands enjoy a loyal following and can charge higher prices for their products or services. So how do you create a premium brand?

A premium brand is a company, product or service that is perceived to have a higher level of quality, an elevated status or increased value in the eyes of its target market. A brand is what your customers say about you. If you want to build a premium brand, then you need to work out how to get your customers to say that your brand is better than another.

A good example is Rolex – possibly the most famous of all premium brands. Rolex didn’t invent the watch and when the brand was launched in 1908, it was competing with well established brands such as Omega and Patek Philippe. Rolex became a premium brand through PR, sponsorships and brand endorsements. For example, the first woman to swim the English Channel wore a Rolex.

If you want to create a premium brand you need to start with a clear value proposition. You need to profile your firm, your customers and your competitors in order to identify how best to communicate what your brand stands for and why people should care. Your brand must give your customers something that they value – whether that is speed, efficiency, the latest technology, ease of use or status. A premium brand must embrace a philosophy – this is the way in which a business does things. To create a premium brand your philosophy must embrace an attitude, a belief system and values that are implicit throughout the firm. Your brand philosophy will drive behaviours of your staff and will determine the customer experience. It will give your brand depth and personality.

To ensure your premium brand is also profitable, you will need to manage costs carefully. Higher quality products, better service, ethical production or using only the best materials will all come at a significant cost. You may be able to charge more for your premium product or service, but your profit margins could be squeezed by higher costs of production.

Invest in training your staff so that customers get a better experience. Invest time and effort in sourcing better materials, systems or processes so that your output is of a higher quality. Finally, do your market research and benchmark against your competitors – make sure that your product or service feels better to the customer (i.e. they have a premium customer experience).