Auction houses thrive on this. Get an item that is in limited (or a one off) supply and make people bid for it at the altar of exclusivity. Just the fact that this specific item is in short supply could potentially activate a ridiculous amount of (dormant) demand, trigger a desire, and then interestingly morph into a ‘want’ and before you pinch yourself to test your senses, manifest itself into a fanatic ‘need’ in people who are then psyched up into splashing obscene amounts of money just to own this story of exclusivity.
Marketers dealing in products across the entire spectrum from diamonds to deodorants try very hard to trigger this impulse of envy in the name of exclusive releases or limited edition products! But is exclusivity the only attribute required to ‘generate such value’ over night? Unlikely. I guess there is another side to the coin.
And that’s called a ‘story’. Weave an exquisite story around your product and create an exclusivity around it, and you would see yourself on the edge of evangelising envy!
Betabrand proved to be a glaring example to prove this. An online clothing story who are hell bent to offer you nothing but the newest clothing & apparell collection that is always refreshed at an alarming pace. As part of this they released clothing along the seven deadly sins: gluttony, envy, wrath, lust, sloth, greed and vanity. I particularly loved how they executed ‘envy’.
They weaved a brilliant story of what went into the making of these pair of trousers. You SHOULD read the story here (click on story). + They made only one pair of such trousers. Obviously they auctioned this and they raked up nearly a GRAND for one single pant!