What Marketers Can Learn from a Rogue Underground (Barely Legal) Restaurant

What Marketers Can Learn from a Rogue Underground (Barely Legal) Restaurant
Kate Headen Waddell - Thu May 12, 2011 @ 12:01AM
Comments: 6

Burger.jpgThere is this “restaurant” in Canada. It’s called Charlie’s Burgers (www.charliesburgers.ca), but they don’t serve burgers, and not just anyone can go there. In fact “there” is a little specific, since Charlie’s exact location is never the same twice.

To get in to Charlie’s, you have to be invited. To be invited you have to fill out a questionnaire, and Charlie has to like your answers.  If he likes your answers, you will be emailed an invitation. Reportedly, if you don’t reply to the email within minutes you have no hope of getting into the event and you have to wait another month. Those who are lucky (or fast) enough to make the list receive super secret directions on how to get to the event, which includes some sort of scavenger hunt culminating with a barely legal dining experience that has to be classified as a private party in order to get past the health department. No-shows are blacklisted.

Now, I have no plans to go to Canada. BUT, as soon as I heard about this restaurant I was dying to be invited, plotting how I was going to give the best answers on the questionnaire, and what  strategies I would use to be sure I answered the invite fast enough to get on the list. In short, Charlie’s had successfully tapped into exclusivity and scarcity marketing tactics in a way I have never seen before or since.

Exclusivity and scarcity are marketing tactics that rarely get used in the B2B world, and it’s kind of a shame. For those of you playing along at home, exclusivity means that not just anyone can buy my products, and scarcity means that there aren’t that many products to be had. Put them together and you’ve got a powerfully motivational force that will knock buyers out of complacency and send them clamoring to your door.

Scarcity and exclusivity in action: promoting your next webinar

Will this approach work with software sales? Probably not, since everyone knows you can make infinity copies of a software program with minimal incremental costs. Will it work with the webinar you’re presenting about your software product? Absolutely. How many times have you seen a webinar that promises everything to everyone – including a FREE recording of the event? It’s no wonder that most webinars suffer from low sign-ups, high absenteeism and low attention spans.

Next time, try using exclusivity and scarcity to drive attendance and focus attention.

  1. Limit attendance.This will depend on a lot of factors, but limit the attendance to the number of people who can be effectively engaged in a meaningful discussion of your solution. Advertise the number of people who will be allowed and stick to it.
  2. Screen attendees.“This webinar is intended for <<insert job title, function, etc here>>. Other attendees will be considered only if space allows.
  3. Do not give out free recordings.Or if you do, only give them to people who actually attend and don’t tell them about it until after the event. Nothing makes it easier to skip or tune out an event than the promise of a recording.

This is just one example. Scarcity and exclusivity can work in other B2B areas as well. Use your imagination – and let us know how it goes!

Have you used scarcity and/or exclusivity in the B2B world?

Have you had it used on you?

Share!

About the author: Kate Headen Waddell is a strategic copywriter specializing in web copy, white papers, case studies, blogging and other B2B marketing tools. You can visit her website at www.smartb2bmarcom.com.

Comments: 6

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