The easiest way to create elite institutions is to have insiders and outsiders.
Credit card companies have made billions by selling a card that others can’t get.
Events have VIPs and VVIPSs, in the process creating insiders and outsiders.
Other events charge extremely high prices as a way of creating insiders [those who can afford] and outsiders [those who can’t].
And of course, the best nightclubs have the biggest velvet ropes and the pickiest doormen that prevents certain people [outsiders] from entering, and mingling with insiders.
That way, people create a clique, a group of elites, people like us do things like these, a way to make themselves feel better humans.
Insiders are often the good-looking, cool people at cool events, the inner circle, the cool tribe. Insiders know the insider’s secret handshake, insider’s jokes, fashion-sense, and insider’s language.
The insider’s entrance badge is the school you went you, the university you attended, the home address you come from, other cool kids you grew up with, the cool places you have to, the cool companies and big positions you held etc. It’s about CV, image, self-imporance, reputation etc.
Then the race becomes being an insider, having your insider friends on speed dial, being on first name-basis with the insider’s cream-dela-cream, inviting your insider friends to your events, and being invited to their do’s.
You see, if you are an insider, you feel special, because there are very few insiders and lots of outsiders.
Do you want to be part of the insiders, part of the elites? create a group of insiders and then exclude a lot outsiders.
Exclude a lot of people and let them scramble to be insiders.
Limiting the supply of your service, or the quantity of your product, or being aggressive in who you sell to [and who you don’t] are all time-tested ways to build a killer brand. Basically create scarcity.
Humans like being insiders, and will work hard to create their own imaginary demarcations to demonstrate that they have made it inside.
Populism is almost always a hard sell, it seems.
The first thing I would ask myself before launching a product, a service, or an event is, “who are we leaving out?”
If the answer is those who are different from me, you are create insiders and outsiders.
If the answer is no one, be prepared for uncharted waters.
The future of marketing that matters [at least the big successes] is going to be fueled by those with the guts to embrace the masses.
In their book The Prosperity Paradox: How Innovation can Lift Nations Out of Poverty, Clay Christensen, Efosa Ojomo and Karen Dillon talks about creating a market for millions of nonconsumers. Non consumers are majority of people who are excluded [outsiders] by elite institutions.
Marketing that matters is about creating new market of those who have been excluded by elite institutions.
If we are to create prosperity, we need to come up with marketing that talks to outsiders, they are the ones that matters the most.
Instead of marketers striving to be insiders to exclusive and elite institutions, how about they go out of the ivory towers and talk to people who really matters. This is marketing that matters, this is where prosperity is created.
The profits, at least in the short run, may well be found by those that embrace exclusion, but the future of marketing is embracing the masses who have been excluded and exploited, by making change that matters to them.
One last thing: while people are delighted to be included [and seem to enjoy excluding others], the benefits they feel are dwarfed by the anger and disappointment of those excluded. It is something that people remember for their entire lives.