Aspirational branding selling the dream

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. Ferrari, Rolex, Dolce & Gabbana, The Ritz, Rolls Royce, the IPod and Nike are all aspirational brands. Through their advertising and branding campaigns they promise sophistication, attractiveness and individuality. We too 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 tantalisingly out of reach something to aspire towards.

Ferrari a fine example of aspirational branding

Branding an aspirational product or service has a lot to do with supply and demand. If you can create a high demand for your product or service and then only produce a limited supply then you can charge a high price. This price takes your brand outside the finances of the majority of the market making it a symbol of success/status. A high price is also taken by some consumers as an indicator of quality. Interestingly though the quality of the product/service itself does not necessary have to be better than its competition, it only has to be percieved as being better.

A symbol of success

Many customers aspire to be rich with the assumption that life will be better and more fulfilled (it is of course!). Consumers like to buy into the dream or, at least feel like they may at some point in their life be able to afford the dream. The assumption developed by aspirational branding is that in obtaining the brand they will in some way improve their life and the perceptions of people towards them. For those that do improve their financial status obtaining the brand is now an affirmation of their success and new found social status.

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Aspirational branding some key points to take into consideration

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. Your brand logo design needs careful consideration.

4. Supply should be actively limited to ensure that demand remains high.

Branding a startup business as an aspirational brand

It is difficult for a new startup business to create an aspirational brand from day one as the brand name has little or no track record. This does not mean however that the company branding strategy cannot focus on turning the product or service into an aspirational brand. The main key is to stimulate demand for the product/service, to be seen in the right locations and to price at a premium.

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