Oct 3, 2010

Aspirational Brands

Creating an aspirational brand usually takes a lot of time and investment. If you have lots of both then this type of branding really pays off. FerrariRolex, Dolce & GabbanaThe RitzRolls-Royce, the iPod and Nike are all aspirational brands. Through their advertising and branding campaigns they promise sophistication, attractiveness and individuality. We to can be cool, we can compete; we can look great and feel great, we can just do it, be it, live it. Unfortunately for many the aspirational brand is just that an aspiration. An unaffordable luxury brands that tantalizing and out of reach because of our limited financial capabilities.
In consumer marketing, an aspirational brand (or product) means a large segment of its exposure audience wishes to own it, but for economical reasons cannot. An aspirational product implies certain positive characteristics to the user, but the supply appears limited due to limited production quantities.
An important characteristic of an aspirational product is that the part of its exposure audience that is at present economically unable to purchase it, thinks of itself as having a fair probability of at a certain point in the future being able to do so. This part of the exposure audience is referred to as the aspirational audience, whereas the part of the exposure audience that already can afford the product is called the consumption audience. Consumption audience and aspirational audience together form the aspirational product's target audience, which typically represents 30%-60% of the exposure audience.
As a general rule, an aspirational brand and its products can command a price premium in the marketplace over a commodity brand. This ability can to a large extent be explained by the consumer's need for invidious consumption for which he is willing to pay a premium. The smaller the size of the product's target audience compared to the exposure audience, the more the product satisfies this need, and the higher the premium that such a consumer is prepared to pay.
To do aspirational branding some key points that should be taken into consideration first are as:
1. The demand for your product should be well in excess of the supply. When everyone wants your brand but few can obtain it then it can become an aspirational brand. The main advantages with this are that your profit margins will increase and demand for your product/service will be much more predictable. You are however purposefully excluding the majority of your potential market in exchange for greater security and stability.
2. The brand should actively look to charge a premium. The immediate assumption is that because it is more expensive it must be better. If the majority of the interested market cannot afford it then they aspire to afford it.
3. The brand image and associated advertising must tie into the aspirations of the target customers. It is vital that you understand your customer base.
4. Supply should be actively limited to ensure that demand remains high. Once an aspirational brand becomes a mass market product it quickly loses its aspirational appeal. This can rocket your sales if you can cope with demand however you will burn the aspirational image.

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