July 13, 2008
Liz published this at 6:41 am
Got up early. Got my coffee. Switched on Twhirl (twitter app). Brian Kress had tweeted Seth’s post this morning on Scarity. I went over.
One day, you may be lucky enough to have a scarcity problem. . . . We can learn a lot from the abysmal performance of Apple this weekend. They took a hot product and totally botched the launch because of a misunderstanding of the benefits and uses of scarcity.
What Seth lays out is a solid definition of scarcity and how to use it to build and value the people who value your business. Seth points out that Apple might have used the scarcity to reward and value it’s iPhone 3G evangelists had it used a core customer strategy and the Internet to remove the risks and downside of the real-time release process. He puts the strategy forth in five principles. I say them in my own way here.
- Use a virtual queue. Waiting in line isn’t an honor or a badge. People can order online and still “get there first.” It can still “sell out” in minutes.
- Reward early adopters in visible ways. Imagine if the first 100K 3G phones had a gold back rather than the black or white . . . 3G first adopters edition. Sports cars do that all of the time.
- Treat VIP customers as VIPs. Invest most in the folks who invest most in you and your products.
- Use the Internet to lower real-time burdens and risks. You can manage and respond to what happens online easier than in real-time geographic locations.
- Give customers the stage. Plan the release as a way for your customers to share the experience. Showcase their knowledge rather than your products. Isn’t that what we keep saying it’s about?
Thanks, Seth. I hope more than Apple are listening.
The idea of valuing key customers isn’t new. That’s why they’re called “key.”
Only think about your core fans . . .
Only care about your core fans. They are the only ones who give a damn about youÃ¢â‚¬â€œif anyone at all does. They are the ones who will drive 100 miles to see you and then tell [their] friends why they should [c]ome along the very next night when it happens again.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
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