Ski Bunny Marketing

hugzoomYesterday, my wife taught me a valuable lesson about marketing.  We were skiing with another family (our daughter and their daughter pictured); and we were wondering when/if the girls would be ready to leave the bunny hill and ride the chairlift.

My daughter’s friend had ridden a chairlift previously, but that was two years ago.  My daughter had never been on one.  The adults were taking turns going on the “real” trails while one or two of us stayed behind on the learner slope with the young’uns.  I mentioned to my wife that I thought it was time to try them on the big hill, and she said something that was brilliant:  “It will be time for her to go on the chairlift when she is PLEADING to do so.”

Often, when marketing to people, you are trying to get them to do something that is strange, new, or even slightly intimidating.  Like riding a chairlift for the first time.  Rather than cajoling or reasoning with them, why not take the Tom Sawyer approach?  Make the activity or action you’d like them to undertake appealing, but slightly out of reach.  If they want to buy badly enough, then when you finally supply it to them, they’re be grateful  to you for taking their money.

There are many examples for where this happens already.  Anything that people (voluntarily) queue up for would qualify, like concert tickets or iPhones.  How could you do this in a bar?  Here’s an idea:

Buy a bottle of extremely expensive scotch.  Put it prominently behind the bar and price it appropriately, like $50 a shot.  But clearly indicate that not just anyone can sample this heavenly elixir.  Put some kind of qualification process in place: perhaps you have to be able to differentiate between two lesser liquids in a blind taste test.  Or take a brief examination demonstrating one’s knowledge of distilleries and single malts.  And of course, when they do achieve the status necessary to spend $50 for a shot, celebrate the occasion.  The act of them giving you a lot of money will then become an accomplishment they are proud of.

BTW, the girls DID plead to go up the chair, and were riding to the top of the mountain regularly and didn’t want to stop at the end of the day.

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