The Power Of Limited Edition Marketing - Tectonic Digital
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The Power Of Limited Edition Marketing

The Power Of Limited Edition Marketing

So you see a social media post from your favourite shoe brand. They have a limited edition pair of sneakers in which only 3000 pairs will be released for the general public. You along with tens of thousands want to be one of those 3000 for completely different reasons. 

This is genius marketing. Let’s explore why someone uses limited edition marketing for products and why it can help aid sales surrounding its release.

I will use the fashion industry for my examples throughout to maintain continuity, as well as me being part of the culture (at the expense of my bank balance).

Pre-release: Hype

Hype refers to extreme publicity or promotion to a certain product, service or person. Hype is a very important part of a product’s release and success, which is why brands that stay near the top usually stay at the top. Big brands continuously push “standard” products onto customers. This is so when limited edition variants get announced, they tend to catch press, social media and then the hype begins. One way you can help build hype for your company is influencer marketing, as using bigger profiles can get your product a lot more exposure to your target audience.

For this example, we are going to use the Adidas Yeezy collection. When Kanye West left Nike, sneakerheads worldwide were excited to see what fashion projects he would collaborate on. Adidas came along, and with usually limited drops every couple months (maybe longer). The hype surrounding each drop generates Kanye and Adidas serious money and constant exposure in the fashion world. In 2020, Yeezy made $1.7 Billion dollars in online revenue, 17% up on the year prior. 

Product Launch: FOMO

FOMO is an acronym for the Fear Of Missing Out, which is to put an urgency and exclusivity onto your product. This is so you can make customers not want to miss the opportunity to buy it. A good launch day can be the make or break for a product release. A great scenario for most would be a quick sell out so you can look onto more projects going forward. One way to do this is to keep the prices high enough to feel exclusive but low enough for people to justify the spending.

To help articulate the fear of missing out, we are going to use the shoe brand Notwoways. This brand was started by internet creator Callux back in 2019. Already backed by a large fanbase, he was able to get the message out about how limited the numbers were. When you have a fanbase over millions of people, this was only going to lead to positive things for him. This has led to quick sell-outs for every drop he’s done!

Post-release: Resale

In my opinion this is the craziest out of the 3 reasons, and getting this right is pure marketing genius. If you can market a limited edition product to the point of people buying your product purely for the chance of the price going up, regardless of if they like it or not, then you’ve won at marketing (or your brand is so large that you could sell a pencil for £100).

From the businesses point of view, getting the previous two points perfect can almost guarantee resale value. This means your audience extends beyond people wanting to buy the shoe to wear it, as normal people will try to buy to sell on for more or hold to wait for price increases. I would only see this as a downside for smaller independent companies as you want everyone who buys your product to show off their purchase, but if you get a lot of people not using them it will massively decrease exposure.

We are going to use pretty much any Supreme drop for this example. Honestly I don’t get Supreme, but they can slap their logo on anything at retail price and people can double their money. From bike locks and money guns to even a brick, they somehow push consumerism to the point where people buy their stuff purely for the name of the brand and nothing else. Like what is a 20 year old gonna do with a single brick? Who knows, but I know the Supreme marketing team needs an even bigger raise after some of the items they’ve sold. 

Overall, limited edition marketing can really push a company up the ranks, which is why a lot of brands collaborate! It means they can both benefit from all the points made above.

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