Scarcity And Desire: The Psychology of Apple’s Marketing Genius

Philip Graves, an expert in consumer behavior and author of CONSUMER.OLOGY examines Apple’s shortage of iPad2s and why the situation works psychologically for the brand.

1. It implicitly confirms the desirability of the item.

2. It creates discussion around each sale: suddenly buying one isn’t just an acquisition, it’s a story about serendipity or determination.

3. Perhaps the biggest win is that, when a customer does come across one in stock, his purchase mindset is completely different. When supply is restricted the loss aversion is switched to fear that NOT buying the product will result in regret: when will you see one again if you don’t grab it now? You don’t have the unconscious concern about finding one elsewhere because securing one at all is a (desired) result.

4. A status product to begin with, now having an iPad (or iPad2) has extra wow-factor.

5. Some people are now prepared to pay $700 or $1000 for an iPad that costs $499. All of a sudden the list price is a bargain.

6. Since Apple owns their own stores, they are driving traffic and potentially making sales of other products as a result of the buzz around iPad.

Previously on AdPulp: Listen To The Consumer’s Unconscious Mind

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About David Burn

Native Nebraskan in the Pacific Northwest. Chief Storyteller at Bonehook, a guide service and bait shop for brands. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. Contributor to The Content Strategist. Doer of the things written about herein.