Exclusivity – What Does It Mean For Your Business?

I’m sitting in a café across from a jewellery business in Chatswood – Hardy Brothers. Have you been there? Have you stood out the front and ogled the beautifully stunning, very expensive jewellery and or watches? Have you noticed that you can’t get into the store without a store employee pushing the secret button to unlock the door? Once the button is pressed the expansive glass doors open wide and welcome you into a treasure trove of luxury beyond most dreams.

Interestingly there hasn’t been one customer go into the store in the first hour of trading. Given they exist in one of Australia’s most expansive retail precincts, I feel troubled by the lack of clientele. On reflection I probably don’t need to worry. I know and they know that at any point during the day someone looking for an exclusive shopping experience will come into the store. They know all to well that the brand, the look and feel, the locked doors, the desire for exclusivity, the want, and the need for an emotional connection to a purchase from this store is the key to making money.

The vision of exclusivity is clear. It is there for us all to see in black and white just above their name…..’BY APPOINTMENT TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN’, a statement allowed to be used as a result of holding the Queen’s Royal Warrant. There is no confusion about what you can expect when you walk through the front doors if you dare. You are buying quality, you are buying very expensive product and you are buying into a world of prestige that has an effect on your perceived self amongst family, friends and peers. The exclusivity of the experience in itself is enough to ensure the brand is held to its high standard.

So the big question is…how does your business communicate your clear, defined and simple message? Are your customers buying an experience? Are they buying a feeling? Are they willing to pay more for it? Do they pay more for it and feel better about themselves? Or, do they have a higher perceived value because of that emotional connection?

Lets be clear, exclusivity is not for everyone. It can rule out a large piece of a target market. It can mean you need to sell less volume at a much higher margin. It can mean working harder at developing a long-term loyal following. It could mean a longer sales cycle. It could even mean culling products and services that don’t meet the grade.

On the flip side, exclusivity could mean the difference between being one of the crowd or standing out and being recognised as THE brand in your niche experience. Imagine being sought after by a client base that was willing to pay more, even in times of economic uncertainty.

What next? Go forth and determine whether you are in a market whereby exclusivity could be your unique value proposition and then plan to drive your vision through your brand, your customer experience and your products and services. Oh yes, and one last thing……don’t forget to deliver on EVERY promise your business makes verbally, philosophically and unintentionally. Break your customers expectation and passion for the experience and you wont live up to the exclusive status for long.

Simon Thomas
Small Fish Business Coaching Sydney

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