Luxury vs. Designer vs. Premium: What’s the Difference?

Business has a lot of nuances in language (sales vs. marketing, brand vs. product, etc.), and the same goes for the fashion industry, perhaps even more so. Labels and names in fashion mean a lot. It could mean a difference of hundreds of dollars on a price tag or a difference in target consumers. This subtlety in labels is well-demonstrated by the distinction between luxury, designer, and premium brands.

First, let’s talk about what they have in common. All three of these types of brands are going to go for a higher price point than most, however the difference comes in the degree that the price point differs. Another key factor that makes them similar is the quality. These are often higher quality products that are produced with better material. However, that’s where the similarities stop.

Luxury Brand

When thinking about a luxury brand you have to think selectively because only a small section of the population can afford a luxury brand, a small section of retailers can distribute luxury brands, and a small number of units are actually made. Obviously, this sets the price point higher to the point that it becomes a barrier for some consumers looking to purchase from the brand.

While all the things above can be achieved by any brand with some work, what sets luxury brands apart are the name and prestige behind it. Often these brands have a long history behind them that has helped them achieve this luxury status. Because luxury brands stretch far back, their products are often timeless collections that rarely deviate from their original form.

Related Reading:  Opinion: Quality In the Eyes of a Designer

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Premium Brand

An easy way to distinguish a premium brand from a luxury brand is that it has a broader market because the products in this category are priced based on their features. For example, if H&M decided to create a line that used superior material than they usually do and charged a premium for it, then it is a premium brand. Essentially you get more for paying more.

However, there are other distinguishing factors as well. These products are advertised as being superior to “regular” products, unlike luxury brands that are advertised based on name.

Designer Brand

The key when thinking about designer brands is change. Designer brands change season to season and go along with the current fashion trends. So, in the next season, the pieces will be out of date and there for not “in-style.”


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