A retail category that includes relatively low priced goods that come with a relatively prestigious brand name; goods and services priced between low-end, mass market items and high-end, prestigious items. Also: mass-tige.
Example Citations:
Mass Prestige or "Masstige."
These goods occupy a sweet spot between mass and class. While commanding a premium over conventional products, they are priced well below superpremium or old-luxury goods. An eight-ounce bottle of Bath & Body Works body lotion, for example, sells for $ 9, or $ 1.13 per ounce. That's a premium of 276% over an 11-ounce bottle of Vaseline Intensive Care, which sells for $ 3.29, or 30 cents an ounce. But it is far from being the highest-priced product in the category: An eight-ounce bottle of Kiehl's Creme de Corps, one of many superpremium skin creams, retails for $ 24, a 167% premium over the Bath & Body Works product — and many brands cost considerably more. Coach similarly positions its leather goods at prices below Gucci's, but well above those of Mossimo at Target. ...
Although masstige products in new categories have great potential, they can be attacked by products that offer similar benefits at a lower price or by premium products that deliver a greater number of genuine benefits for a small price increment. Every masstige product, therefore, is a candidate for death in the middle.
— Michael J. Silverstein, "Luxury for the Masses," Harvard Business Review, April, 2003
Of those retailers that are succeeding in the current climate, a great many of them fall under the category of "masstige" — brands and products that have high-end, prestigious characteristics but with prices and locations that make them accessible to a mass consumer audience. masstige brands have particular appeal to urban consumers, who are always striving to be trendy but aren't above a bargain. Target was one of the first to push masstige with its introduction of Mossimo and Michael Graves products. Sephora is also a great example, as it offers high-end beauty products at accessible prices in a large number of locations, many of them urban, streetfront properties. Other burgeoning masstige retailers include Kohl's and Wal-Mart.
— Richard Hodos, "Urban expansion and 'masstige' defining retail success," Real Estate Weekly, April 30, 2003
Earliest Citation:
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.
— "Marketing Toiletries, Cosmetics & Fragrances conference on beauty product advertising in mass media," Cosmetics International, March 10, 1996
There's a second sense of this blend of mass and prestige that shows up only rarely in the written record: a fashion statement that mixes both mass-produced and prestigious clothes. Here's an example:
If you follow the example of the rich and famous you can look like you just stepped off the runway — without breaking the bank. Celebrities mix their Prada with the Gap; their Manolos with Target, and their Louis Vuitton with H&M.
The well-heeled, including stars such as Queen Latifah, Cameron Diaz, Julia Roberts and Madonna, know how to create an image without forking out tons of money, contrary to what most think. They have a keen eye and pick knockout items that cross economic lines. They might not be the latest designer duds, but they have the look and feel of being expensive.
Industry folks are calling this dressing phenom — where prestige goods meet mass-market ones — "masstige."
— Lisa Lenoir, "A perfect pair," Chicago Sun-Times, November 13, 2003
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