Premiumisation and Platforms: Content, Data, Innovation

January 2022

Digital platforms are the defining business models of the 21st century, allowing brands to reach scale faster than ever before. Users of a platform benefit from compelling content, feedback from other users, and other services, while owners of platforms gain data, which allows for faster innovation, better products and more targeted promotions, which in turn brings more users, reducing customer acquisition costs. This report explores the power of platforms and their impact on premiumisation.

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Key Findings
Premiumisation and the path to purchase

Whilst the marriage of product and service remains central to premiumisation, going forward, premium brands will need to control more and more of the path to purchase, from product discovery to leveraging user data.

Building durable feedback loops

The power of a platform is in the feedback loops it generates – strong user communities drive strong content, which drives better data, which creates new products, which steadily increases the size of the platform’s user base.

Content is king

The most successful premium platforms are those with strong user communities which create authentic content and data in response to the value the platform creates for the user.

New platforms can re-define premium in key markets

In markets like India and Southeast Asia, low spending on traditional premium categories, such as beauty and wellness, creates a powerful opening for platforms which can drive usage, and communities which can define what premium means in a local context.


Key findings
The power of platforms
Key drivers
Components of a successful platform
Glossier a canonical example of a successful platform
Glossier and premiumisation
Products and platforms
Appliance companies create new points of contact and data
What is the path to a platform?
Case study: Nykaa builds a premium niche across India
Case study: Coca-Cola’s Wabi aggregates traditional trade
Case study: Xiaohongshu turns community into products
Case study: L’Or é al’s Perso points to a future of long-term personalisation
Case study: Miele’s Barista Assistant creates a new node for data and innovation
Challenges to overcome
Become tomorrow’s next leader


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