How Apple Feeds Its Starving Crowd and So Can You!

Have you ever wondered how companies like Apple attract massive crowds to their stores with little to no advertising conducted on their part? 

I mean, seriously, people will camp out all night on the sidewalk just to get their hands on the latest and greatest iPhone.  You’d think Apple had a monopoly on knowing how to draw in a crowd with customers stampeding through their doors like a media-depraved mob.

When you stop to think about it, that’s who we are.  We’re a global nation of consumers who are always hungry for more.  We will spend thousands on new gadgets, even if we can’t afford them!  Our bodies will ache with anticipation as our minds throb with excitement.  The night before the big release, you might be like a kid on Christmas Eve, unable to sleep because you just can’t stop thinking about it.

Can you imagine what it would be like to be on the other side of the advertising campaign?  What if you were the creator of the next big thing that was highly anticipated by millions? 

Us, creative minds! That is what we live for!  

  • We want be a bestselling author.
  • We aspire to become a noted professional in our field,
  • We want to launch a piece of media that would go viral!
  • We want to let our message out, not just to family members, loyal and supportive few friends, but to the masses!
  • We want to share our expertise to help, reach and inspire others.
  • Anything more than that would be a dream come true!

Can I let you in on a little secret on advertising?  Apple is the king of creating the illusion of scarcity.  The truth is, the product doesn’t change much from year to year.  The model might be skinnier with a new feature or two, but you basically have the same phone already in your pocket.  So what drives us crazy enough to be in a frenzy about the new release?  Why do we camp out on the sidewalk for the next Apple iPhone? 

The answer is because Apple knows how to drive the right kind of hunger and desperation into us that makes us think we’re about to miss out if we don’t run down to the store right this second to get their product.  Really it starts about a few months from the release, almost like someone releasing the teaser trailer of a highly-anticipated movie six months in advance.  Without saying very much at all, all you hear about is an upcoming release and we get all hyped up.  We then stand around the water cooler at work asking each other if we heard about the new thing coming out and it starts to spread.

Even after years of being in business, Apple never seems to enough product to go around when it’s time for the advertising launch.  Perhaps that’s not a coincidence?  Do you remember when the iPhone 5 was ready to be released for pre-order and they put out a statement declaring they didn’t have enough to go around? 

Pure chaos ensued. The pre-sale advertising wasn’t even a day old before orders were set to back order.  The more people talked about it, the bigger the buzz that ensued, even being covered on all the major news outlets!  This is the scarcity concept I was talking about.  We all want a piece of the pie and when we don’t get it, a trigger goes off in our brains.  I know for sure the kinds of ads that intrigue me the most and get me to pull out my wallet are the ones ‘warning’ me I only have a limited time to buy.  Or I can only purchase a few because the supply is small.

In my book “Feed a Starving Crowd”, I share with you specific examples of how scarcity revolutionised numerous industries.  For example, research highlighted in 1982 by Amram Knishinsky revealed how wholesale beef sellers convinced the public that weather conditions overseas created a shortage of beef.  Perceived scarcity in that market caused their profits to soar.  They jumped an additional 600 percent when the dealers said no one else knew about the problem.  It was privileged information that made the public feel like they were on the inside of a big secret!  They bought up what they could in anticipation of a shortage because they didn’t want to be left out. 

Brian Tracy

The mysterious ‘Disney Vault’ has been used for years to drive movie sales.  I know this one worked on me before I did the research myself.  I saw a commercial for The Lion King and how it was a ‘limited time’ before the movie was to be locked away in the Disney Vault.  Well, of course I ran to the store to pick up my copy of the soon-to-be-gone Disney classic.  They do this to control their market and keep the content fresh for generations to come.  They will re-release the product down the road ‘for a limited time’ and rake in the extra profits created by scarcity.

My book goes on to explain the psychology behind this advertising ploy and discusses how if we think we can’t get that product at a later date, it creates this mental dam and we are left wanting.  Even if you don’t need it, can’t really afford it, and probably won’t care about it not long after you already got it, we strive to satisfy our primitive desires.  When we see words like, “hurry-almost gone!” on advertisements or a countdown timer giving us a short time before we lose out on the deal of a lifetime, we can’t seem to avoid splurging on it. 

The main purpose for me to write “Feed a Starving Crowd” is to show you how we can use the desire of never having enough to our advantage in the marketing world.  It’s an idea that transcends class.  Even when billionaire John D. Rockefeller was asked the famous question of how much money is enough, he answered, “just one more dollar”.  And that’s the purpose of the book.  You can take hold of the reigns of want and create your own advertising market out of thin air.

Scarcity is but only one advertising secret businesses use.  Customers are also brought in through social media, blogging, and web page design.  Let me tell you the story of Jared Hopping and Brett Cosgriff.  They are two guys who had a passion for being able to provide excellent tips for sporting events.  Except, they were able to take their passion and turn it into a $100,000 profit in only two days!  How did they do it?

Facebook Advertising Stats

They started a Facebook page.  And within a few weeks, they accrued 9,000 Likes!  Word spread quickly, so it was only a matter of time before they turned this free venture into some major capital!  They wondered if people would pay them for their tips and advice.  As they soon found out, the answer was a resounding YES!  Out of nothing they created a hunger for their service.  In the first forty-five minutes, they sold seventeen annual packages at the price of $699 each!  Once their launch was complete, they net over $100,000 in revenue in just two days!

I point out in my book the fact that people are incredibly more motivated to avoid losing out on something than they are to gain it.  You can do all the advertising you want and you may get some people to bite, achieving marginal success.  But the real power behind creating a deep hunger is making others feel like they are losing out if they don’t act now. 

Impulse is a Powerful Weapon to Wield in Advertising

apple impulse advertising
Source: Flickr.com

Think about something you really love, like your favorite artist.  Imagine they are coming to your town and you finally have the opportunity to purchase premium seating.  Just like thousands of people in your position, you sit at the computer an hour before tickets go on sale, hoping and praying you get the seats you want. Then what happens?  In what seems like only seconds, the concert is sold out!

 

We are not talking about extreme compulsive shopper cases, but ALL of us love a good deal on something we love. Capitalize on that!

That’s because artists only really sell a small percentage of their tickets to the general public.  That translates to about 10% of their sales.  The rest are turned over to multiple partners they have deals with.  The venue makes out like a bandit because they generated buzz by using scarcity to promote the sale.  You’re left feeling bummed because you would’ve gained more satisfaction winning those tickets than if someone just handed you $100. 

“Feed a Starving Crowd” is a book jam-packed with 227 advertising strategies you can use to promote your own product or service.  174 of them can be done without an advertising budget!  To get your free copy, be sure to visit feedastarvingcrowd.com/free-download

In this article

Join the Conversation