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Bigger is Not Always Better: Exclusivity as brand

If you live in America, you live in the land of LARGE. For the most part, we prize size. Wide open spaces. McMansions big enough for an entire clan, even though we may have a small family. Super-sized meals. Pitchers of endless mimosas. All you can eat. Huge trucks and oversized SUVs. Teams of specialists. More, more, and more.

Businesses like to brand bigness, promote a plethora and entice you with extras. The danger with branding big is you can become a commodity, competing in an endless spiral of way-too-much just to remain large and in charge.

Contrarily, branding “less” can be more effective at driving your business. Selling scarcity, rareness and limited availability is a very effective way to create want. Customers compete to buy, to get their seat at the table. Profit margins rise. And, you will need to market smarter not harder to seduce the client.

Here are a few examples of how exclusivity is used to build the brand:

  • Worthiness
    Prestigious pre-schools and private schools in the country use limited enrollment and rigorous entrance requirements to attract the best, brightest and deepest pockets to the point where newly gestating parents are enrolling their embryos.
  • Limited Production, Handcrafted and/or Precision Engineered
    Couture fashion, custom-built vehicles, close tolerance engineered parts all share some common qualities: they require time to design, attention to detail, and precise results. These items people lust to own are produced in smaller quantities or are available for a limited time and at an elevated price point.
  • Artistry, Design
    Creativity that yields original artwork, the architecture of future technology, insightful scientific breakthroughs, or the refined palette of a master winemaker or superstar chef is a rare gift, not a skill that can be taught. It is an inherent quality that commands a premium for the products and processes that result.

Exclusivity as brand relies upon building an esteemed reputation for being or producing the very best (or most unique) and delivering on that promise. It means your target audience is narrower. It requires your brand experience to be extraordinary and seamless.

Even if your product or service is not a luxury good, work of art or exclusive service, integrating some of the techniques of a less is more approach may take your brand out of me-too marketing and bring your business to a whole new level.

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