There’s an old saying, ‘people want what they can’t have’; it forms one of the most important aspects of marketing. Whether you are trying to shape up your brand image or promote a new product, making something seem enticing is reliant upon it being marked out as distinct from its competition – and hard to obtain. There are various ways you can do this: pricing schemes, product scarcity and clever content strategies have all been used by various companies and with great success.
Shaping Your Public Image
While it may seem contrary to the idea of growth, making a product ‘exclusive’ can often be the number one driver of sales. This is because exclusivity isn’t just about establishing a sense of ‘those who have and have not’. You are distinguishing your brand and what you are about; you are carving a niche for yourself. Honing your business image is an important part of establishing your company. By being selective about who is able to access your product, you are able to take control of this public image.
People often associate exclusivity with luxury brands. Their business model works by producing items that are simply too expensive for most people to purchase. By making your product relatively difficult to acquire, it becomes something to aspire to owning. A brand which perfect exemplifies this is Rolex, whose catalogue of items are celebrated as the apex of this classic industry. Famous across the world, the Rolex name alone sustains interest in the brand and offers a timeless appeal.
High prices need to be justified, however. Businesses can do this by supporting their products with certifications, reviews and guarantees. Rolex, for instance, was recently supported by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie’s white paper officially laying out strict quality assurance laws and guidelines in watch-making. Remember: in an age of acute scrutiny and vocal social media use it is important not to up-sell a product unjustifiably.
Restricting access to items and adding a sense of scarcity to them creates added value. We trust and desire things that are in short supply: not only have they proven to be successful with previous customers, but we fear missing out on them. As an example, Google+ may be waning in its popularity now but upon its release everyone was clamouring to be a part of it. One of the keys to its success was the ‘invite-only’ aspect to membership, which relied upon an invitation from an existing member of the community. Using this method, Google were able to create a huge anticipation and interest in the service’s release. The result was that Google+ acquired almost as many members as Facebook in just a matter of weeks.
A Different Vocabulary
The language you use when inviting customers to explore your product or brand is fundamental.
Content marketing strategies need to not generate interest, but motivate people to take action. Referring to ‘exclusive offers’ and ‘limited discounts’ instils a time-conscious panic in consumers and can result in a jump in the number of conversions. This reiteration of the scarcity of your product reminds people of its high demand.
The way you address customers is also important and will have actionable consequences. Using the second-person with pronouns like ‘you’ and ‘your’, the reader is singled out and personally involved. By making consumers feel that they have been invited into an elite group, and that they are amongst their social peers, their ego is pandered to with a sense of personal invitation.
Assess What Strategy Your Company Needs
As we have seen, making something seem exclusive is a great way to yield greater public interest in a product or service. Not only can you make it a status symbol, but you can create word-of-mouth excitement about the product. By flipping the status quo and foregoing conventional advertising in favour of consumer-led activity, you can promote your product without ever making it seem forced.