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Make yourself scarce – Bulletproof musings on limited edition

If they anticipate, they’ll wait

When the Kate Moss Topshop collection hit NYC, there were 150+ women queuing outside Barney’s exclusive flagship store on Madison Avenue. When the doors opened, they (literally) made a run on limited edition fashions such as a $675 petal dress and a $470 wire trapeze smock dress, with Barney’s carrying only 10 of each. Managing scarcity made frenzied fashionistas pay ‘top dollar’ for a mass-market high-street brand.

Sad, but true

Michael Eugene Thomas loved Michael Jordan, as well as the shoes that Jordan endorses, and he cleaned his own pair each evening. He kept the cardboard shoe box with Jordan’s silhouette on it in a place of honour in his room. Inside the box was the sales ticket for the limited edition shoes. “We told him not to wear the shoes to school,” said Michael’s grandmother, Birdie Thomas. “We said somebody might like them and he said, ‘Granny, before I let anyone take them, they’ll have to kill me.’” Sadly, that’s exactly what happened…

But, what if I’m not
fashion brand…

Know your limits

There are lots of ways to think about limited edition and almost every brand owner
(even massive mainstream brands) can extract value from limited edition through…

  • Small(er) production runs
  • Selective distribution channels
  • Commemorating someone
  • Seasonal selling
  • Commemorating something
  • Limited time availablility
  • Collectables
  • Charity relationship stories

Here are some good ones…

Three key strategies

Bulletproof has a number of proprietary strategic tools and has created three key strategies for Limited Edition.

Insane Loyalty

Manage the mindset of a small set of highly passionate consumers who serve as style-leaders for the mainstream mass audience – fashion brands excel here by distributing must-have product through speciality retailers

Big Buzz

Generate maximum noise and news in a way that invites a wide audience into the brand (draw in new consumers and enhance loyalty among current consumers) – often will be synched with a major marketing property such as an event sponsorship

Relationship Refresh

Primarily about maintaining the loyalty of current consumers, but can also bring new people into the brand – packaged goods companies can deliver this via an on-trend flavour, colour, ingredient, etc.

here are the strategies applied…

Coke 125 (Big Buzz)

Bulletproof leveraged the 125th birthday of the world’s most valuable brand to engineer a ‘Big Buzz’ that reinforced loyalty while encouraging light and lapsed users to retry the real thing…

  • Limited edition bottle and can sets
  • Beveraged iconic imagery to reinforce heritage

For more information see the entire case study – Coke 125 years

8×4 (Insane loyalty)

Bulletproof orchestrated a thoughtfully designed program to knock the dust off a German deo brand by creating the concept of ‘stylejacking’ and working with the edgy artist Jackdaw to implement it on pack in a way that created insane loyalty among style leaders…

  • Collection of three ‘stylejacking’ variants
  • Edgy graphic treatment to target style leaders
  • Leveraged artist Jackdaw in a broader marketing program

Nivea Soft by Nicola de Main (Relationship refresh)

The future of Nivea skin care is in the hands (and the faces) of today’s teen girls who see Nivea as their Mum’s (or Nan’s) brand – Bulletproof shook things up with a Relationship Refresh by working closely with designer Nicola de Main who is highly aspirational to today’s teen girls…

  • Three looks to keep the range fresh and interesting
  • Teen-relevant, expressive designs 
  • Colourways similar to, but different from the Nivea mothership brand
    to signal a ‘Relationship Refresh’

For more information see the entire case study – Nivea Soft

Bulletproof is continuously working with clients on their Limited Edition and New Product Development strategies, to help their brand build incremental growth.

If you would like to discuss this further, give us a call us on +44 207 395 3636 (London), +1 (212) 488 8388 (New York) or email us at [email protected]