Product tiering - comments on Gizmodod article

After reading this article I found my wondering how this applies to the toy industry. Do parents who buy “high tier” products buy “high tier” toys? Do they buy more toys? Do parents seek out material specific toys that appear upscale?

I am wondering how this applies to all markets. The article jumped around and mentioned razors, autos, and electronics. I am not sure this works in all markets- not just toys as the enigma.


I’m not sure what the question is. Could you elaborate? The article is really about the death of tiering.

Sorry, I wrote that yesterday when I was in a hurry.

What I am asking: Does targeting niche markets (focusing on consumer needs) work in all product segments? I do not see it relevant to all categories as the article suggests. (i.e. bleach is bleach, unless it is Clorox bleach)

When the article suggests that Mercedes is focusing on the subsequent niche markets, it neglects to mention the leverage of branding which is very important value to the product. A 90k Kia is still a Kia.

Targeting brand equity has a lot more to do with who will buy a product. Distinguishing these brands with design is only part of the equation.

in an objective sense, yes, because any company can choose that direction. but in a more subjective way maybe not, since the higher management requires a solid reason behind that move.

targeting is a going by the book process for many companies in different industries. it couild be toys too. ie look at microsoft or even the late runner dell who has decided to make a gaming unit. that’s a toy.

once you have competitors you’re bound to have some sort of distinguishing claim. this’s where targetting starts to become a prevalent option since other than well known brand, lower / more accurate cost, good service(like warrantee, safety,etc) there’s not much else you can maneuver on.

a lot of people these days are looking for bargains, there could be debate whether it’s a smart thing to do, but this’s what they do. so once they have a budget they look for better quality. those who target look for that specific quality.

that’s why toyota is selling better than ford. they have managed to overcome the target issue.

I believe it can work for any product. Your claim of “bleach is bleach” sounds like an assumption. Not all gasoline is gasoline. There are many blends. Not all plastic is plastic although that’s what most consumers believe.

There’s nothing stopping the development of a custom bleach/detergent product aimed specifically at one particular blend of fabrics (a blend that might be particular to an expensive clothing label and highly targeted to consumers of that high-priced product). So it can be more than just branding. I expect it’s assumed that strong branding is integral to this endeavor, but not the only thing adding value.

Segmentation by price (tiering) is still practiced in many areas. Think Home Depot’s “good, better, best” and you get the idea. The article argues for a more attitudinal approach to segmentation and this is what has been spreading into various industries as consultancies who do ethnography, portfolio planning and “innovation” move from client to client.

As for whether this would work in a toy context, it is an interesting question because you would likely have to look deeply at parents and children, and the buying dynamic involved to come up with a clear answer. It is tricky because the buyer and end-user in this case obviously have different priorities.

isn’t the problem with “tiering” simply not enough segmentation? Extereme niche marketing and customizing within mass seem to be where it’s heading. In fact I like the idea that a person can belong to a different “tribe” (niche group) many times even during one day. It’s the one size fits all, or three sizes address all, idea that seems over.