These goods occupy a sweet spot between mass and class. While commanding a premium over conventional products, they are priced well below superpremium or old-luxury goods. An eight-ounce bottle of Bath & Body Works body lotion, for example, sells for $ 9, or $ 1.13 per ounce. That's a premium of 276% over an 11-ounce bottle of Vaseline Intensive Care, which sells for $ 3.29, or 30 cents an ounce. But it is far from being the highest-priced product in the category: An eight-ounce bottle of Kiehl's Creme de Corps, one of many superpremium skin creams, retails for $ 24, a 167% premium over the Bath & Body Works productand many brands cost considerably more. Coach similarly positions its leather goods at prices below Gucci's, but well above those of Mossimo at Target. ...
Although masstige products in new categories have great potential, they can be attacked by products that offer similar benefits at a lower price or by premium products that deliver a greater number of genuine benefits for a small price increment. Every masstige product, therefore, is a candidate for death in the middle.
Michael J. Silverstein, "Luxury for the Masses," Harvard Business Review, April, 2003
Richard Hodos, "Urban expansion and 'masstige' defining retail success," Real Estate Weekly, April 30, 2003
"Marketing Toiletries, Cosmetics & Fragrances conference on beauty product advertising in mass media," Cosmetics International, March 10, 1996
The well-heeled, including stars such as Queen Latifah, Cameron Diaz, Julia Roberts and Madonna, know how to create an image without forking out tons of money, contrary to what most think. They have a keen eye and pick knockout items that cross economic lines. They might not be the latest designer duds, but they have the look and feel of being expensive.
Industry folks are calling this dressing phenom where prestige goods meet mass-market ones "masstige."
Lisa Lenoir, "A perfect pair," Chicago Sun-Times, November 13, 2003