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How to maximise the high / low trend instore

How to maximise the high / low trend instore

By Steph Gleave, sales & marketing director, Momentum Instore

Hotdogs with Champagne, Top Shop at Nordstrom – both are examples of the high / low trend we are increasingly seeing in the worlds of retail and leisure. The concept is about premium brands or products partnering with those that are perhaps more accessible, providing the high end partner with a platform from which to achieve broader awareness and giving their less premium other half a boost in credibility and brand collateral.

The trend has so far been mainly adopted by restaurants, leisure outlets and fashion retailers. But at a time when the majority of consumers are generally keeping a close eye on their expenditure whilst still wanting a bit of luxury in their lives, the high / low concept has the potential to appeal on a much wider level.  Take supermarkets for example. With shoppers looking to save money but also treat themselves on a regular basis multiple retailers have the perfect opportunity to help them to do so with various high / low mechanics – while at the same time driving sales.

So for those wanting to take advantage of the trend for mixing basics with luxury items, what are the factors to consider?

Consider Your Audience

Assess who your core customer is and ensure that any high / low offering you create truly appeals to them. For example for a mid ranged retailer it’s a fine line between giving customers access to a taste of accessible luxury or confusing them with a brand name that is simply too prestigious. They need to know the brand in question and understand its positioning - anything too exclusive and they might not have even heard of it. Similarly, high-end retailers need to go for product pairings that enhance their brand and provide opportunities to extend its reach, rather than simply devaluing it and alienating its core customer base.

What Mechanic Will Work Best?

This is not really a new concept, but how it is put into practice has changed as retailers and brands become more creative and look to gain long-term benefits from such activity. For example, it is not unusual to see on pack promotions where a standard product offers an incredible luxury prize of, say, a car, holiday or a makeover with a top hairdresser. The trouble is that this kind of activity, although it might boost sales in the short term, is soon forgotten. The new trend for high / low pairings is aimed at achieving a more lasting effect. For this to happen instore marketing needs to be worked into the mix and instead of a one off prize, a more meaningful relationship needs to be built between both brands.

Take as an example the ever popular-pizza and wine combination. Pairing own label pizzas with a premium wine range has masses of potential for boosting appreciation and sales of both products. Emphasising the way in which each wine compliments each topping will appeal to wine connoisseurs looking to try different foods with their favourite varieties and pizza fans wanting to elevate a standard meal by partnering it with a premium wine.

Choose Your Partners Carefully

As with any relationship both partners involved in the high / low activity need to have fundamental aims and values in common. They also need to respect each other and understand that even thought they may have their own agenda this is a two-way relationship. Therefore just because a brand had mass appeal, or a well-established luxury positioning, a partnership should not be rushed into until each party is certain that it will work long-term.

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