Request: Best Ideas Column

Grant Barrett gbarrett at WORLDNEWYORK.ORG
Mon Nov 24 16:22:12 UTC 2003

One word I'm liking is "masstige." It describes mass market items or
brands which have acquired prestige, either through market positioning
or because the quality is high enough to give status to the brand or
item, even against items at higher price points. It was in the Times a
couple weeks ago, in a Buzzwords column by Tom Kuntz.

The best short definition I've seen is "the sweet spot between mass and
class," used here, among other places:

Of course, then masstige isn't "new" but it certainly is approaching
critical mass, with the backlash on the way: .

The earliest use I can quickly date is 10 March 1996, in trade journal
"Cosmetics International." Other hits seem to indicate the term comes
out of the fragrance/cosmetics field, and perhaps even specifically
from P&G.

"Also speaking at the conference was the Marketing Director of Procter
& Gamble Cosmetics & Fragrances Division, Ann Francke. She looked at
the major trends in the industry, the first of which was the rise of
the "masstige" segment. By this she meant the blurring of the
distinction between the prestige and mass end of the market across many
elements of the marketing mix. The second was that of products that
actually work. She says: "Today prestige products are being launched
with mass concepts and vice versa. No longer are market segments
clearly defined by separate retailing, channels, and the once
well-established rules of premium versus mass pricing are being
challenged. Ask any beauty expert what the most successful fragrance
launch of 1995 was and lie or she will answer cK one. It turned the
elitist world of fine fragrances upside down. There was nothing opulent
about the communication, the in-store presentation or the fragrance

Grant Barrett
gbarrett at

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