Who loves a great deal? Getting in early on a great promotion is unquestionably the best way to get the best deals. Shoppers are thrilled by the emotional rush of securing a unique or valuable product, service, or experience. The feeling is maximized for those who get it first! A great promotion, through advertising or publicity, is the trigger to alert people who are ready to buy that the time is now. Still, how does a retailer reward the brand ambassadors who fanatically demand to buy first and will pay money for the privilege? Who gets to buy the newest handbag?
First to Market
First mover advantage is a powerful lever. Sellers go to great length to get winning products in front of their customers first. Mobile phone providers release the latest handsets to the technology press to review and promote the latest features. The purpose is obviously to increase revenue. But, first it wants to drive awareness. The initial objective is to stoke emotion: excitement, anticipation, snobbery. Timing matters to recognize value. So, does price. Instead of discounting to create trial, superior promotion promotes lust to secure a premium. Likewise, social capital has a cost. Certain consumers eagerly absorb that cost and pay a premium for the product, or experience, that fortifies their social superiority. It is essentially an ego tax that savvy retailers willingly collect.
First to Purchase
A typical promotion might reward the first 100 customers to buy tickets receive a code to order a free download. The customer still has another activity to realize the bonus value. But what about the offer where the first person to download the newest, most spectacular video game gets to be the first person to play the newest most spectacular video game? The simple fact that the fanatical customer is first is the bonus! The ego gratification of promoting individual superiority is an additional bonus. Enjoying the purchase before inferior beings have a chance even to buy it, supersizes its enjoyment. By communicating pride in ownership first, where others have not yet even experienced it, influencers produce value and transfer credibility. This communication is marketing at its best. Every single seller needs to explore exactly how to market their product or service where customers compete to buy first!
While first mover advantage makes a difference, realize value actually exists on both sides of the sale. Every season the world’s greatest designers will release new handbags to the public. Their development will be cloaked in secrecy. Then, certain attributes leak to the public, whetting the appetite of their most important customers. These customers do not wait to hear about upcoming launches. The most important customers are influencers who are encouraged to tout the product’s superior style and cache. Retailer invite them to sample handbags before the launch. Whether it is a week or a day, the most important customers actually participate in the promotion. Tons of people want to be first in line when new products are launch. Retailers identify influencers to be customers who drive demand. Their invitations are to exclusive events. Their promotional activities feature bilateral dialogues. The results stoke emotion. They create envy. They manufacture buzz. Then, the successful launch facilitates frenzied competition toward the cash register.
By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC