Scarcity marketing: Tip and Tricks

marketing 11.03.19

Scarcity marketing can be a powerful tool to sell your product or service. Scarcity marketing is based on the principle that people want to have things are hard to obtain. It creates a sense of exclusivity and also operates on the psychology of fear – forcing people to act out of fear of missing out.

However, these days, it seems like a thing of the past with everything being about convenience, ease, and availability. If you can’t get something you want from one business, then you can probably get it from the store around the corner, and if that’s not possible either, then it’s just a few clicks away. People are just not used to limited supplies or having to wait for something anymore.

That said, because of the scarcity of ‘scarcity marketing’, you might be surprised at how well it can work in this consumer climate. Here are a few tips and tricks to get scarcity marketing right.

Build a sense of exclusivity

The power of scarcity marketing comes from the fact that people feel like they’re a part of an exclusive group. Owning an “exclusive” product or service gives them access to something that not many people have access to. It makes people feel special and unique.

Scarcity marketing creates two groups – ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’, and to be a part of the ‘haves’ group makes people feel superior. On the other hand, if you’re in the ‘have-nots’ group, then it makes you feel inferior and therefore, scarcity marketing gets people in the ‘have-nots’ group aim to get into the exclusive ‘haves’ group.

If you look at some of the most popular and effective online platforms right now, you will see that they started out by adopting the scarcity marketing approach. Both Google and Pinterest were originally platforms you could be a part of only via invitation. Therefore, making people feel like they were a part of an elite group when they got in.

Make stellar products

There’s usually an inverse relationship between quality and quantity. Higher quality products require more time and efforts, therefore you can produce less. For example, good alcohol takes a lot of time and effort. Yes it is possible to get cheap wine, however, if you’re a wine aficionado you’re probably looking at things like age, fermentation technique, harvest time, etc.

While the quality/quantity relationship might not always hold true, especially when it comes to making things at scale, people believe it to be true. That’s why scarcity marketing is at times based on the belief that the scarcity of the product is a result of the product’s high quality as it is difficult to product or make.

Have a limited-time offer

There’s nothing that screams scarcity more than ‘limited-time’. This is the simplest way to take advantage of scarcity marketing. You might provide a discount that’s only available for a particular month or you might announce the limited availability of a product. Such marketing makes people act quickly out of fear of missing out on the offer or the product if they don’t act now.


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