I must admit that there was some time between when I penned this as a blog point to when I actually sat down to write it.
As a consequence, time has altered what was as clear as day when I had the idea to something that can be interpreted a few different ways. Although conceptually they are quite some distance apart, I thought I would include them in the blog entry because of the shared title.
Fear of not having your product: Stock levels and rainchecks. Marketing activities, like braking, should not be a surprise activity; they should be planned around a trigger point and have goals and measure analytics pre-defined. Sure there may be occasions when reactive marketing techniques need to be employed, but this should be the exception rather than the rule. Planned marketing activities are generally easier to do for non-perishable goods, but not so easy for foodstuff. It is hardly practical to stockpile milk now for a milk promotion that you will have in two weeks’ time. Now having a problem of too many customers for the product that you have can sound like a good place to be in, however, the reality is not always true. The consequences of a disappointed or (now) disengaged customer can reach further than just your inability to provide a good or service; and this is even when you have specified that there are limited stocks or an offer has expired. If you plan your activities in good faith then the consumer public will be understanding if you run out. If, on the other hand you deliberately and purposely only stock very limited quantities just to get customers in and hope that they eventually purchase a different higher margin product, then the greater consumer world will see this for the trick it is and your reputation will suffer. With social media now giving people a greater and more far reaching voice, then the adverse impact on your business will travel at 25MBps.
Fear of not having your product: Must have items Right of the bat I am thinking of personal security and safety devices. No, I am not talking about a Glock or Colt hand gun (although this is how these products are marketed in America), but items that we sometime take as a given or for granted. These are the sort of products that would make you think twice about not having it for yourself or your children. Many times these products or services weave in an element of guilt factor into their advertising, and if the advertising has been sustained and effective, then the guilt factor is introduced by the consumer rather than the retailer.
Some “Fear of not having” products and services re relatively new players in the consumer field – I cannot recall a recent 18th or 21st birthday party that did not have security rostered at the front entrance. I doubt that this would have been on the radar 20 years ago and yet is quickly becoming a mainstream must have. But the classic “Fear of not having” product or service is insurance and roadside assistance. Most of us know that the claim service is not straight forward and there are a bucket-load of exclusions, and chances are that we will not make a claim on the rare occasions when we think that a claim is warranted, but these products are always high on the must have list and are the last to be considered as not necessary.
Fear of not having your product: Freebies Ever heard “Buy one, get one free”? The fear of not having your product is not attached to the product itself, but to the free item that the consumer will miss out on if they do not purchase. Add in a timeframe and now you have introduced urgency into the decision making process. If your margins allow it, then this type of campaign can be very effective.
Fear of not having your product: Fashion Occasionally, when the planets align and the Gods look down favourably on you, your product assumes a cult following; it becomes a trend setter, and a consumer demographic will push the sales for you. If you find yourself in this enviable position, the general supply and demand model is difficult to resist. The higher the demand, the higher the cost, the larger the margin, and the better your profits. Be careful not to take it too far or your loyal consumers will drop you. With this success comes great responsibility. To maintain the tsunami your product needs to continue to develop whilst still remaining within the fickle boundaries of consumer expectations. The greatest form of flattery is replication, but this is also your greatest risk. Victorinox actively guard and defend their Swiss Army Knife, as does Zippo with their lighters. This will consume cash so be prepared to allocate appropriate resources to protect your product.