The Power of Exclusivity

Exclusivity is one of the most powerful techniques used in marketing. It is powerful because of the want, the desire to aspire for more. The price is driven up on the product because the supply is scarce and the demand is high. Country clubs, yacht club, fraternities and sororities, living in desirable neighborhoods - all have price tags and initiation fees that not everyone can afford. Becoming a part of these organizations have an appeal and distinction. It separates you from the general public when you announce an exclusive affiliation.

Here are a couple more examples of exclusivity:

A car that is 1 of 3 manufactured

A penny that has a mint-made error

A one of a kind Banksy painting

A fashion garment that is 1 of 50

It works because people want what they can't have. It's the nature of the beast. I'm going to walk you through two examples of companies who have used exclusivity extremely well.

Let's start with Louis Vuitton. They do not make the bulk of their money on luggages, which is what they are originally known for, because not everyone can afford to spend 10k on a vintage suitcase. They actually make the bulk of their money on purses and accessories. Their brand is exclusive because it never goes on sale. If you don't pay full price for a product, and it does not sell during the season, they destroy it or reuse the fabric on another piece. They even hold exclusive events and sell products exclusive to those events so that only those that are in the know have the opportunity to buy. That is why they are the number one fashion line.

The last example who used exclusivity really well is Facebook. They first started at Harvard. It was a social platform that connected everybody on campus. Then the other colleges in Boston found out about it and wanted to join. Then came the ivy leagues who also wanted to join. After they were able to successfully add these colleges to the server, they then released dates for when your college was able to participate. Around 2003 there was an article in my school newspaper which announced the invitation to join. Once all colleges were on board they then had to make a decision of high school kids, and adults. Facebook completely blew by Myspace for active users by using exclusivity to grow its membership which also saved their servers from blowing up.

Lesson: Make your customers feel exclusive every chance you get. Invite them to an exclusive event and offer exclusive deals to them first or better yet, only to them. It will have them buying more than even they imagined.

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