Famous Last Words: Exclusivity, Yesss!
Who has the exclusives in this world? The gorilla safaris in Rwanda. Consumer Reports for its ratings of cars and appliances. The Green Bay Packers, whose waiting list for season tickets extends to the year 3000 [sic!]. Food concessions in small airports and large stadiums. Richard Branson's space plane. Target Marketing Group's Who's Mailing What! Archive of more than 200,000 direct mail packages amassed over 20-plus years. How many other exclusive products and services can you think of?
There's a saying in marketing that people will buy from you for four reasons—and four reasons only: price and/or service and/or quality and/or exclusivity.
If you can move your business into the area of exclusivity (and guarantee quality), you have no worries about price, service … and competition.
At the same time, exclusivity can be fleeting. Global warming will put Len Smith's polar bear safaris out of business. Cruel hunters may well do in Rwanda's gorillas in the mist. The Internet is wreaking havoc with the viability of your favorite local newspaper. Will e-books displace printed books after their 500-year run that started with Gutenberg?
In the immortal words of the late Bill Munro, former marketing director at PepsiCo, "Imitation is the sincerest form of collective stupidity."
Go for it while you can, and hang on to it for dear life!
Denny Hatch is a freelance direct marketing consultant and copywriter, and author of the e-mail newsletter, Denny Hatch's Business Common Sense. Visit him at www.businesscommonsense.com or www.dennyhatch.com, or contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.