Going Premium

Every now and then, I’ll see a conversation online about a successful brand or retailer where a commenter will say something about how excited they are to see when the firm goes premium: offering more expensive products, like gold-nibbed or high-end pens. It’s almost always expressed as an inevitability, like a star athlete moving up to the big leagues, and yet it almost never happens in reality. In fact, the opposite seems to occur more frequently: brands that were once premium like Parker and Waterman barely compete in the upmarket space anymore. In today’s post, I thought it would be interesting to explore why firms aren’t always so eager to make the move upmarket, and look at Goulet Pens and Twsbi as two case studies.

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