Today, I want to take a light-hearted look at marketing and scarcity and what it means to you as a
On our vacation, we went to Les Baux-de-Provence, or Les Baux (pronounced lay bow). It is designated as “The Most Beautiful Village in France”.
“Wow!” I thought, “I’m going to visit the most beautiful village in France! There’s a lot of villages, so this must be spectacular!”
And it was. I mean, drop-dead gorgeous. It’s perched on a rocky outcrop in the Alpilles Mountains in the south of France, overlooking picturesque valleys. Add to that some castle ruins and medieval buildings at the crown, and I am all in.
Then I learned that Les Plus Beaux Villages de France is an independent association for the promotion of the tourist appeal of small rural villages.
So villages apply to join the association and have to pay annual membership dues to remain members.
Well that was a bit of a letdown. There are actually 156 (give or take) “Most Beautiful Village in France” villages.
Which brings me to the point of today’s post: our psyche and exclusivity.
Exclusivity and Marketing
In his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini states that opportunities seem more valuable to us when their availability is limited.
That’s why it was so appealing to visit “The Most Beautiful Village in France”. How could I NOT go? What if I never have another chance to visit THE MOST beautiful village? Cialdini proposes that “people seem to be more motivated by the thought of losing something than by the thought of gaining something.”
The more exclusive something is, the more valuable.
Going to THE most beautiful village holds more appeal than going to A beautiful village.
How does this relate to marketing?
Members in the association get to claim their membership with a big plaque or sign claiming Most Beautiful Village in France.
Is it deceptive? Maybe a bit. Does it work? Heck yeah! Member villages see an increase from 10-50% in tourism revenue.
Exclusivity and Leadership
So how does this help you with leadership?
Leadership is about relationships and a great deal of THAT is about influencing people.
People do better work for you when they feel appreciated for their work. Saying things like “You are THE point person on this project” makes them feel more special, more exclusive. Telling others on the team to see Susie if they have any questions about the shipment makes Susie feel important; after all, she’s the exclusive holder of the shipment information.
People want to feel valued by their leadership and making their skills or knowledge feel specific among the group is one way to do that.
Who wants to hear “you’re just a cog in the machine”? If someone does, than they are hiding. A sincere “you are the linchpin of the sales team” is much more motivating. Too many leaders want to be the linchpin themselves, yet nothing is lost by passing the exclusive designation to someone else.
To be cliché, a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.
And if everyone you lead feels special in some way, your entire team will do phenomenal things.
Leaving you with this from the lighter side: Remember when people had diaries and got mad when someone read them? Now they put everything online and get mad when people don’t!