Imagine you’re an advertising guru with a product to market. You want the customers to know that it’s a quality product.
Quick: What word do you pick to describe it? If I’ve succeeded in priming you with the title of this post, you’ve picked “premium,” haven’t you?
Congratulations: You suck!
“Premium” is an awful marketing term. Just the worst. It really shouldn’t be, but it is.
Here’s what marketers think they’re saying: “This product is built with quality materials and is superior to our competitor’s products.”
Here’s what most of us hear: I…don’t know, actually. The word “premium” doesn’t really tell me much. Oh, I know that the literal definition is “of a high quality,” but what does that mean in a marketing context, exactly? It can mean so many things that it effectively means nothing at all.
First off, every damn thing is “premium” nowadays. We have premium cat food, premium toothpicks, premium toilet paper to wipe your butt with, and premium hemorrhoids cream for that same butt (one must assume).
Did your dog just take a dump on your neighbor’s lawn? Not to worry: Pick it up with a premium dog waste bag. You think I’m kidding, don’t you? Feast your eyes on this:
Secondly, whenever you use the word “premium,” you almost always actually mean something else, something more specific. Like when you say that your Genital Masher 250 is “premium,” you actually mean that it’s made of soft but durable materials that will caress our nether regions without disintegrating into nothingness from our vigorous exertions. (Also, don’t ever name your sex toy Genital Masher 250.)
So how about just using that other description instead of “premium.” What does it mean that a plastic bag for picking up dog poo is “premium”? Is it tear proof, so that I won’t get my dog’s doggy-doo on my fingers? Then tell me that. Is the bag made from finest-quality Chinese silk and engraved with a tailored monogram, so that I’m the envy of all the other waste bag connoisseurs? I need to know!
You can almost always say it better. In fact, most of us will probably welcome a more detailed description.
Well, I stand corrected.