When you can actually pull off the scarcity marketing tactic

I think most people know that companies use scarcity as a marketing tactic.

For instance,  I bought a Nintendo Switch this year, but for months I couldn’t find one in stores.

But when I finally bought one off of Amazon, the site told me it would take over a month to deliver.

In all honesty, my Switch was delivered in a week.

Same with Apple and their iPhones. When I worked for a major cell phone company, we would only get a handful of iPhones for launch days.

And the same thing is happening with the PS5 right now. Not everybody can get their hands on one.

The problem with using scarcity, at least for tech companies, is they manufacture scarcity but only in the beginning.

At the end of the day, Apple, Sony and Nintendo eventually have to distribute more units or else they’ll never make money.

There is one company I know of that consistency uses scarcity as a regular marketing tactic.

Keep in mind, this company is not a publicly-traded, Fortune 500 company with a board of directors to please. This company is owned by one guy in a Vermont small town.

There’s a brewery called the Alchemist that’s located in Stowe, Vermont. Their big flagship product is called Heady Topper, which is a Double IPA.

Now keep in mind, there are more breweries than have ever existed in all time. There is no shortage of specialty beers out there.

My buddy’s Dad told us that back in his high school days, if you could get Coors, you were considered hot shit.

Today, we live in a golden age of unlimited choices.

Anyways, with Heady Topper, you can’t buy it anywhere in the United States. It’s only distributed in the greater Burlington area, and that’s pretty much it.

Occasionally, you’ll see a Heady Topper can here and there at a bar, but the lion’s share is around its HQ.

The Alchemist also sells other beers like Stouts, Lagers and even MORE IPA’s. You cannot buy these anywhere else. You literally have to travel to their brewery to buy these.

Which is a shame because my all-time favorite Stout is called Luscious from that brewery. If I want it, I have to travel 3 hours just to pick it up and 3 hours back to finally enjoy it.

And Stowe is not located in a happening town. Ben and Jerry’s HQ is there and there’s also a Ski Resort. That’s really it.

And here’s the thing. Personally, I don’t think Heady Topper is even the best IPA I’ve ever had.

It’s pretty good and strong, but in no way the best I’ve had.

But even I see the value in Heady Topper for the sole reason of it’s not always available.

Could the owner of the Alchemist decide to distribute Heady Topper more places? Sure he could.

But then a beer distributor would call the shots, which would probably cause a bunch of logistical headaches for the owner.

Keeping Heady Topper local to him, helps him maintain control and leverage over his products.

He’s also not trying to start the next Sam Adams. Is he leaving more money on the table? Probably, but to him he’s probably made enough money.

Hell, his brewery is not in some garage. It’s in a gorgeous building. I assume he’s doing well for himself.

Anyways, if you’re a huge beer fan and live somewhere near the Northeast, it’s worth the trip up there.

And if you ski, it at least gives you something else to do.

Until next time.

JP