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Rethinking Prestige Branding

Secrets of the Ueber-Brands

By Wolfgang Schaefer and J.P. Kuehlwein
13-minute read
Audio available
Rethinking Prestige Branding: Secrets of the Ueber-Brands by Wolfgang Schaefer and J.P. Kuehlwein

Rethinking Prestige Branding (2015) is your guide to the radically transformed world of prestige brands. These blinks explain how the practice of building a prestige brand has changed, what customers want today and what you need to do to make your brand a coveted object.

  • Marketing and branding professionals
  • Readers curious about how today’s brands got to where they are
  • Entrepreneurs looking to boost their brand’s growth

Wolfgang Schaefer is chief strategy officer for advertising agency SelectNY. He has years of experience in developing global brand strategies for European, American and Asian markets. He is also the cofounder of Ueber-Brands Consulting.

JP Kuehlwein is brand director for Procter & Gamble and a lauded business leader, strategy expert and brand builder. He is a cofounder of Ueber-Brands Consulting.

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Rethinking Prestige Branding

Secrets of the Ueber-Brands

By Wolfgang Schaefer and J.P. Kuehlwein
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
Rethinking Prestige Branding: Secrets of the Ueber-Brands by Wolfgang Schaefer and J.P. Kuehlwein
Synopsis

Rethinking Prestige Branding (2015) is your guide to the radically transformed world of prestige brands. These blinks explain how the practice of building a prestige brand has changed, what customers want today and what you need to do to make your brand a coveted object.

Key idea 1 of 8

Exclusivity and high prices don’t signify prestige anymore, as technology has leveled the playing field.

As the global economy changes, business strategies are changing along with it. So what do companies need to know to build a prestige brand today?

One strategy that doesn’t work as well as it once did is high prices. Brands were once able to distinguish themselves – and their customers – through extravagant price tags. The idea was that a product would become a status symbol when only a few, hyper-wealthy individuals could afford it.

Now practically anyone can buy or borrow the prestige of a brand. Online flash sales offer designer clothes at a discount while luxury cars can be rented by the hour.

As a result, such luxury items have lost their once exclusive status.

The new status driver is knowledge. In our information age, people idolize superior intelligence. Just consider the rising status of rich IT professionals, once seen only as “nerds.”

This means that your brand can attain prestige by being “in the know,” for example, by employing novel technologies or staying ahead of new fashion trends.

A knowledgeable brand can, in turn, help customers appear knowledgeable, as privileged information is sometimes necessary to “get” a brand. A good example is a skater who distinguishes herself from posers by only wearing “real” skater gear.

Another crucial aspect of establishing brand prestige today is the need to be honest and ethical in your business dealings. Using child labor to assemble clothes or polluting the environment are wrong; consumers today demand better of the brands they support.

With online technology, customers can now rapidly share information about various brands, and bad news travels quickly. Information about a company’s unethical behavior can destroy a previously stellar brand image.

Consumers have used social networks to shame brands publicly over false promises or exploitative working conditions – some have even organized brand boycotts.

Companies that promote social responsibility, however, can use the same channels to connect with customers over the environmental and social issues they care about, earning their respect.

In our next blink, we’ll explore the secrets to prestige branding in the digital age.

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