I really like these marketing propositions where small volumes of a product are produced, priced at standard or premium prices and when it is sold out no more are available.
Fashion brands and high value drinks brands for example whisky manufacturers have used limited release marketing propositions for years, but increasingly brands selling lower priced products are using them to create urgency and desire.
Growing up in the in the late seventies and early eighties I followed lots of punk and new wave bands. Weekends were spent buying singles and going to small gigs to see the next Sex Pistols or Clash. Thirty years on I’m still going to small gigs and still buying vinyl records. Many new bands today release singles and even cassettes (remember them?) in small quantities of 100 to 500. If the band are any good, social networks and DJ’s soon pick up on the music and before you know it, records from Jake Bugg and Royal Blood are on E-bay for sums five or ten times their original cost. As Record Store Day grows in popularity (this year 19 April) some of the biggest artists in the world such as David Bowie and Oasis are also releasing limited edition vinyl records that will become collectors items overnight.
Another example are small breweries or “craft breweries”. I’m not a beer drinker but the taste of these beers is like nothing else. I’m a convert even at double or three times the price of a standard mass produced beer. Due to their limited production, new beers are always being created, brewed and released. Chat to the brewers and they’ll tell you no two beers are the same so they have a ready-made point of differentiation to standard beer brands who seek consistency in production. Using social media, smart distribution into cool pubs, clubs and restaurants these craft beers are generating big interest. If you live near London a visit to the Kernel or Brew by Numbers breweries at Spa Terminus in Bermondsey is a must.
TV Box set content
I’ve been recently been working on an assignment in Sky in their TV Products team. Sky offer their HD and Entertainment Extra customers access to hundreds of TV box sets. Exclusive titles such as The Sopranos and Game of Thrones have been an undoubted hit with customers. Negotiations with the studio’s dictate how long these titles remain available to watch so even though they may have only secured a big title for a limited period of time, there’s a real opportunity to promote this limited release to generate interest and a buzz. Like the breweries and the bands, Sky can use this to create interest in other TV and Movie on-demand services.
It would be interesting to hear your thoughts about brands that are successfully using limited release marketing propositions to create customer interest and desire for specific products but also to attract customers to other products they sell.
Angus Mitchell is the founder of Athenic Consulting Limited based in Harpenden, Hertfordshire near London. Established in 2009, Athenic Consulting design and deliver winning marketing and sales solutions for firms of all sizes. They offer consultancy and interim marketing services to European clients including Sky, Google and Sepomo mobile payments. Prior to establishing Athenic Consulting, Angus worked in marketing roles in the UK, Italy, Spain and Sweden for brands including O2, BT, Ericsson, Genie mobile and Infinito.it. He also founded a specialist Italian wine company, Dodici.