7. Moving with Gravitas

The king never hurries

Lastly, there is a very different kind of growth pattern and tempo in prestige, one that is more driven by grace and dignity than speed and ubiquity. Super Premium brands don’t roll out with a big bang. They radiate like a star, pulling in as they push out; Creating a force field that is as magnetic as it is expansive. They start softly, grow slowly and win quietly. First they carefully solidify their position and vision before taking initial, very measured steps to put them into action. They make sure they don’t over-penetrate but rather find alternative ways to drive profitability – creating economies of scope vs. scale by venturing into adjacent categories for instance. Even if they have reached a level of maturity they take great care to keep on feeling and acting “small”, sometimes intentionally (re-)creating scarcity and rarity through limited supply (Bentley) or special editions (Godiva), through very selective distribution (Tom Ford) or by adding an ‘ueber-exclusive’ level of products and services to counterbalance their mass appeal and retain their class (bespoke Louis Vuitton ). For exclusivity is pretty much like virginity: Impossible – or at least very hard – to regain.

– Going to market in measured steps
– Letting your reputation precede, radiating rather than rolling out
– Building sustainable success, never compromising the sense of exclusivity


Move the slider to compare the Mass- vs Ueber-Brand financial models

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