Making It Harder

Spike Jones clarifies an often timidly believed principle in marketing: to get someone to want what you’ve got, it helps to make them think they might not get it. It creates a sense of urgency.

In his post, Spike has this to say about barriers of entry:

Barriers bring with them a sense of exclusivity. Everyone wants in the party that hardly anyone gets into. I’m not saying this is right for all social networks, but before you throw open the doors to the entire world, why not invite those true kindred spirits – those biggest fans – to the party first. Hell, let them be the gatekeepers even. And then watch how the barriers can become assets.

In reading through this, I started thinking through random situations where this works. Please add your own ideas in the comments:

  1. Traffic going in and out of a sports arena or concert.
  2. The ride with the longest line at the fair.
  3. Blogging consistently for more than a year (or more) before the studs of the blogosphere acknowledge you as legit.
  4. Sam’s Club and Costco – becoming a member before you can take advantage of their discounts.
  5. Waiting a little longer for the sou flee to cook at a top restaurant.
  6. A doctor who’s first opening for an appointment is in 5 weeks.
  7. The Red Sox having to pay $51 mil. just to make an offer to Daisuke Matsuzaka.
  8. Waiting 3 months for your Nintendo Wii to arrive.
  9. Paying high annual fees to the home owner’s association of your ritzy neighborhood.
  10. Getting asked to a friend’s poker game.

Making it harder sometimes makes it better.


2 responses to “Making It Harder

  1. I’ve experienced #2 with the long lines at Disneyland and #8 with my Wii. With both I felt like part of a club, like I suddenly had a common bond of exclusivity. By the way, I knew you were legit way before your year mark.

  2. Ah, you’re too kind .. . . .

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