Traditionally, we could expect to find mass products at stores like Walmart and Target.  Likewise, we could expect to find prestige products at Saks or Neiman Marcus.  Today, we are seeing the beginning stages of these two worlds cross-breeding.  Welcome to the masstige era.

Consumers are now being spoon fed prestige products at mass retailers. This is offering consumers the opportunity to treat themselves to higher quality products when they are shopping for their routine mass goods.  The initial idea caters to the following target consumer:  a mother is refreshing her staple goods by shopping at Target.  This is her one-stop-shop.  While in Target, she comes across their new boutique section where she is able to spend some time shopping for herself.  This mother is not necessarily unable to afford these products; she simply just does not prioritize elite shopping into her daily life.  By making these prestige brands available (in moderation) at mass retailers, opportunities are essentially born.

Retailers must keep their expectations realistic.  There will be many consumers who cannot afford the prices of prestige goods.  They will likely walk past the areas within the mass retail store once they see their prices.  This can be expected as many shoppers come to mass retailers for their inexpensive products.  The hope of retailers participating in masstige opportunities is that there will be enough shoppers who are interested.

Many argue the appropriateness of this cross-breeding idea.  Is it possible to balance volume vs. elite?  This idea breaks the current marketing barriers.  We are now crossing over standard demographic segmentation.  We expect to see the traditional segmentation in certain stores.  Now we see multiple segments being targeted in mass retailers.  Masstige ideas are relatively new but have begun to show success.

Next time you visit Target, or another masstige participant, take a moment to embrace this cross-breeding debate.  What are your opinions?