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In the last email, we talked about the impact of constantly throwing a "sale". We also looked into two methods that successful brands use to constantly be in demand, without having to lower prices.

  1. Scarcity. Not being too available for people. Makes them buy quickly in order not to "miss out".
  2. Trust. Reducing anxieties and issues related to buying so that customers don't change their mind about buying.


In today's email, we're going to dig deeper into how you can utilize scarcity when you do marketing.

Q: Why is it necessary to talk about marketing tactics if our main focus is on branding?

A: If a brand doesn't act like a premium brand, there's no point in creating a premium visual identity. Branding is as much about how the brand acts as it is about its appearance.

What is scarcity?

It's defined as the state of being scarce or in short supply. Undersupply as opposed to oversupply. In the context of marketing, your customers are unable to buy your products as much or as often as they would like. 

You intentionally limit their purchase to create an impression of being the best, high quality and being in demand. (As I mentioned in the last email, it's important to have a product that they want to buy a lot and often in the first place)

 

Why scarcity?

A smart brand intentionally uses scarcity to invoke: 

  1. Anticipation. They wait impatiently for the next time the product is available.
  2. Status. Not everybody can buy this.
  3. Pleasure and appreciation. They had to work harder for it, so they value it more.

That's how it works generally. But to implement this practically, it's easier to look at things you shouldn't do.

1. You shouldn't: Do everything the customer asks you to.

This applies more to service-based businesses, but can be relevant to product-based businesses too. Doing every single thing that is requested may seem like the best way to the customers' hearts, but it doesn't give you the respect and excellence required to be a premium brand.

Let's look at an example.

X is a baker. She originally set out only to bake cakes and brownies, but her regulars persuaded her to bake macarons, cookies and cupcakes for them. (Customers can be very persuasive) Soon enough, she finds herself unable to say NO to any kind of order.


Sure, she makes money. But what kind of reputation is she setting for her brand? What exactly will her regulars say about her to other people? "Order from X! She can bake anything!"

At first glance, that seems like a positive comment. But when you look at it closely, you'll see that it means that X is a quick fix. Although her baked goods may be delicious, they don't come to her because she's special. They order from her because she's always ready to bow to their needs.

X is a YES-WOMAN.

In other words, she's letting her customers set the agenda instead of sticking to her own plan. It'll be very difficult to grow her business if she goes on like this. Look at any luxury brands and you'll see that they dictate what they sell, not the customers.

If you want to be extra nice to your customers by doing something they've specifically requested, have it be the exception rather than the norm.

Related article: How to Build A Great Portfolio Even If You Have No Clients Yet (In this one, I discussed the importance of doing one thing at a time and how you can use it to your brand's advantage)

 

2. You shouldn't: Torture yourself to make a sale.

Hey Aina, you've insisted on putting the customers first when we looked at the brand details. Why not go above and beyond for your customers now?

There's a difference between giving customers an exemplary service and letting them run the business. 

Boundaries are necessary for your sanity and for customers to fully appreciate that you also have other customers. It's professional and efficient.

It's important to have a proper system in place, for both sales and delivery.

  • Sales: The process of taking an order for a product/service from the customer.
  • Delivery: Getting the product/service to the customer. Many business owners handle this personally by going to the post office themselves. 

When you process orders personally, there will always be customers who don't want to follow the guidelines you've set. Maybe they don't order at respectable hours. Maybe they don't want to use the established payment options.

When it comes to deliveries, they may want the product/service sooner than possible. Maybe they want you to deliver at weird hours. I'm not saying this nastily; most times customers don't even realize that they're inconveniencing somebody.

If it's an emergency and you choose to process it for them, then it's awesome. But if it's normal for customers to demand for the product however they want it, consider this; If they can order anytime and any way they want, where's the urgency? 

Why would they rush to buy your product after you say "newly stocked" or "limited stocks"? They will disregard that because they know they're going to be entertained anyway.

They know that you're still going to play nice with them even if they follow your process. They're used to that kind of behaviour.

A premium brand sells at their own terms. They take customer experience and satisfaction into consideration, but they don't bend over backwards to cater to the customers' whims.

You owe it to your brand to not be a doormat.

 

Because the email is crazy long already, I'm going to talk about Point #3 (diluting your brand power) in the next email. Keep an eye out for it!

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