Nearly every client and business owner I have worked with or spoken to starts out with a vision of growing their businesses to enormous scales. Of course, the reality is often different and quite difficult to accept. Not all businesses will achieve global domination such as the likes of Coca Cola, Facebook and eBay. Most businesses have a mammoth task in growing to a sustainable level and an even greater challenges to scale.
From the off set, when I help my clients to reach their goals and ambitions, I make it clear to them that there are limiting factors along the way and challenges which address those limiting factors must be overcome.
If your business looking to scale up, this post is part of a series of posts examining the limiting factors.
In the modern, dynamic and digital economy small to medium businesses can do very well as long as they respond to the climate around them.
Part 2. Exclusivity– Creating a culture of giving your customers a feeling of exclusivity and special experience will strengthen your loyalty base and increase a desire for new prospects to want to join.
People like things that are exclusive. You have heard of the saying ‘They want what they can’t have’. We want what others covet. As consumers we want things that signal to the world that we are one of a select few. It’s in our nature as consumers.
Here are some strategies in becoming exclusive:
Waiting lists and pre-orders limits– By limiting the available supply and creating a first come, first serve atmosphere with all new product launches. This creates a rush of interest in the ‘want to be the first’ category. Apple does this with its products every time.
Deadlines and limited time – when your offer is only around for a limited time, it creates an urgency in customers and makes them feel like they are getting a deal that others won’t be getting. Again, this excites people who are in the FOMO (fear of missing out) category.
Membership – If you create a members-only group for your customers to join that gives them special privileges and offers that the general public is not entitled to. The feeling of being special is very powerful and can cement long term loyalty along with fantastic endorsement.
Now let’s look at the how the exclusivity strategies present themselves in practice, what the public sees is vital and can really impact the trajectory of your business growth.
1. Your Public Image
While it may seem counter intuitive to the idea of growth, making a product ‘exclusive’ or limited in supply 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’. What you are doing is distinguishing your brand and what you are about; you are carving a niche for yourself. Defining and presenting your business image to the outside world 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.
2. Price Matters
People often associate exclusivity with luxury brands. These business models work 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. One of the best examples of this is Rolex, Rolex’s catalogue of items are celebrated as the pinnacle of this classic industry. Famous across the world, the Rolex name alone sustains interest in the brand and offers a timeless appeal.
However, high prices have to be justified Businesses can do this by supporting their products with quality, reviews and guarantees. Remember, in an age of acute scrutiny and vocal social media use it is important not to up-sell a product unjustifiably.
3. Using a Different Vocabulary
The language you use when inviting customers to explore your product or brand is fundamental.
Content and digital marketing strategies need to motivate people to act and not just generate interest. Having ‘exclusive offers’ and ‘limited discounts’ instils a time-conscious panic in consumers and can result in a jump in the number of conversions and inquiries. This reiteration of the scarcity and limit of your product reminds people of its high demand.
Addressing 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 promoted to with a sense of personal invitation.
4. Evaluate What Strategy Your Business 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.
You can create scarcity and exclusivity in your business by letting clients know the excellent service they receive is because there is a limited number of exclusive clients you serve. The branding, marketing and identity of your business will have to be consistent as well as providing the support, service and product to match.