Offer the product to a market so eager to buy it that demand exceeds supply. This is being oversubscribed (super requested), and it is the condition that every entrepreneur aspires to achieve.
At the base of everything must be the desire to offer an extraordinary experience to its customers, something that is really worth the effort and that you are willing to talk to others to the point of becoming “ambassadors” of the product itself.
Once the potential customer, the reference market, the development strategy have been identified, the most important moment arrives, that of diffusion.
What it means to be Oversubscribed
Oversubscribed means “super-requested”, that is, being in excess of demand, and it is the condition that all entrepreneurs aspire to achieve.
The first rule to do this is to be sure that what is offered is really worth it. You must love what you do and take care of your customers.
Principle 1: supply and demand determine the price and people need something difficult to obtain
The price of the wider market should not be considered, but the price set by a small group of people. For a small number of people your value is higher than you think.
To become a top company you only need those that are necessary to raise your prices. If two people want your time, but only one can have it, the value of your time goes up. If you want to hire talent, you must also be oversubscribed for talent.
If you want an effective disclosure, you must be oversubscribed for those who want to tell your story. In short, you have to create the situation in which a certain number of people who want something cannot get it.
Business is defined in 3 ways:
- oversubscribed : demand exceeds supply;
- balanced : supply and demand are relatively equal;
- undersubscribed : supply exceeds demand.
Principle 2: exit the price competition by creating a “tribe” of aficionados
You have to untie your business from the reference market of the sector, to get out of the price competition. There are brands (and people, like Brad Pitt and George Clooney) that do not have a market price, but their own exclusive market.
To start doing this, you need to build your group of admirers, cultivate a “tribe” of people who are loyal to you, your products, your philosophy. Once this is done, gather your people and detach them from the generic market, get these people to participate in something special.
Jean Pierre De Villiers, “JP”, is one of London’s highest paid personal trainers. He is probably a stranger to you, in fact he has only 8 customers, who pay him up to £ 40,000 a year. Its services can be bought in six-month packages and paid in advance. JP only works with businessmen who are always on the go and earn at least £ 400,000 a year. In 2010 his rate was £ 45 an hour. Then he began defining his niche, wrote a book for his specific customers, spoke at business events and appeared in exclusive magazines. It’s important to be famous for a few, if those few are your customers.
What are the ingredients to become “famous” and build your own market?
- coherent and repetitive message . Reiterate what you do clearly. Give stability to your ideas;
- content . People read: write posts, produce videos, articles, books;
- commercial ecosystem . After they meet you, customers will want to be able to buy from you easily;
- continuity . You need an online identity that shows what you’ve done in recent years. When they discover you, people want to know what you’ve done before;
- collaboration . Be open to relationships and engage in partnerships that can be judged beneficial to all parties involved.
Principle 3: the four key elements to generate an imbalance in the market
The first key element is innovation. Create something new that the market has not yet seen and will want.
Producing innovation is not only creating the iPod, it can also simply be the way you combine your product with another service:
- product innovation : launching something totally new, like the characters of Star Wars;
- system innovation : a new way of doing things, like Facebook which is a new way to stay in touch and meet new friends;
- brand innovation : new packaging that makes something that already existed desirable.
The second is the relationship. You can innovate on the level of relationships by becoming more influential and capable of involving others, or you can work to become more known and raise your appeal.
Third , functionality: remember that everyone wants to save money, time and effort. The books you buy on Amazon are the same that we find in the bookstore, but they are easier to obtain, the set of features that achieves this advantage makes the difference between Amazon and other bookstores, and is the key element.
Fourth key element, the price. To reduce production costs, you can invest in goods that create an “access barrier” to competitors, for example owning the equipment that others are forced to rent from time to time, in general it is a question of perfecting the process production to eliminate inefficiencies.
Principle 4: Creating a favorable buying environment generates buyers
People buy because conditions are favorable. The behavior that leads to the purchase is conditioned by the environment. You don’t have to look for people one by one, but make them move all together.
The transparency, that is, the visibility, that you can have on social media is very effective: a post announcing an event with 60 seats at $ 500 each makes the event easily sold out if in the comments there are a hundred conversations that show the intention of as many people to buy a place.
Organizations that try to educate us on what to do are doomed to fail, those that make social change interesting and desirable will succeed. Ask people what they want, build the product the way they want it. Describe it in the context of what the customer wants, then add what he needs.
Principle 5: the advantages of making yourself different and memorable
Develop your philosophy, affirm it clearly and take care of those who agree with you and firmly share your idea.
What is your specific philosophy? What are the key points that identify it?
It’s okay to say no: the owners of Studio 54 in New York immediately decided that it was better to have the room empty rather than full of the wrong people. Studio 54 was the first place to send customers away because they had the “wrong” shoes.
Google has one million job requests per year for a few thousand jobs. Aspirants agree to undergo tests, games, questionnaires and assignments. 99% receive a “no”.
What are the reference standards in your sector? What are everyone else doing? Make yourself different and memorable, out of the ordinary, play with your rules. If everyone in your sector offers hourly prices, try offering a fixed price.
If everyone sells separate items, prepare a package. If the norm is an annual contract, offer a monthly service without clauses for those who do not renew.
Principle 6: people get stuck in front of “all or nothing”, better to propose to go up a “first step” than to raise a wall
Nothing goes on alone, things work if they are put into the system.
The idea is to create a set of products and services and invest in one of the elements to get a return on another; for example, attending conferences for free, writing on Twitter, giving charity can lead to selling many books.
It is the ecosystem that generates value, not the individual product.
Don’t get paid for ideas, get paid for their implementation.
The lower the energy required from the customer, the higher the value of the product. If you want to lose weight, you can buy a $ 20 book and work hard by following his advice on diet and exercises, or go to a $ 500 gym, or even pay a 3,000 personal trainer, finally make a 15,000 liposuction.
The value has moved from information to implementation. Don’t try to sell information: you can earn by giving the information and making you pay to apply it.
Remember that it is easier to climb one step at a time than to jump over a wall. People become paralyzed if you put them in front of an “all or nothing”, anyone who detests making big commitments, embarking on actions from which it is difficult to withdraw.
Look for a first step with low commitment and low risk, open the way, do not raise walls.
Always remember that innovation does not mean upset. You should never distort your winning formula, think about how LEGO has innovated over time.
Principle 7: create an extraordinary experience for customers and differentiate themselves from competitors
If people talk about you in postive terms, the budget that you will have to allocate to marketing will be zero, and you can invest that money for excellence. To be extraordinary you have to offer tangible advantages in your market area, real benefits that competitors do not offer.
Invest in customer care, take care of the customers you have acquired instead of spending to get new ones: it is the customer who will do your marketing.
Build an extraordinarily reliable personal brand. During a serious crisis between Virgin Group and the company that manages the Sydney airport, Richard Branson showed up at the airport dressed as an Indian chief with a small ax in his hand.
He went to the CEO and said “I’m here to bury the hatchet.” Negotiations restarted, an agreement was reached and the visibility of Branson and his group went up again.
Our brains are made to connect with people. For this reason personal branding, from Richard Branson to Giovanni Rana are now a reality. The first tip is: put your face on it.
Phase 1: how to plan the change to become oversubscribed
Assess your potential and determine who you are targeting. You need to know when you get oversubscribed. Plan your campaigns over a 12 month period.
The question is: how many customers can you have an exceptional relationship with? Be honest in setting this goal. Knowing your real potential is power. If your restaurant can satisfy 283 customers per week, it is important that you know it.
If you try to force your limit, service standards will drop, you will not be able to satisfy customers and your business will have negative publicity from customers you have already acquired.
When divided over time, the numerical potential of your business is more easily measurable. Knowing how many customers you can make happy and when you can do it allows you to create incisive campaigns, which must always be planned in advance, better year on year.
It is essential to know what to communicate: oversubscribed companies often speak of the context in which they are inserted, not of their specific activity. It is much more effective to involve people in “something big”. Talk about lifestyle, about something really important.
Create a detailed, absolutely precise timeline for your campaigns and make this “timeline” shared with the team, for example by preparing posters to hang on the walls of the office.
Phase 2: become a CDE and involve your audience in the content development phase
Share your content with the public in order to convince them to want to work with you. A CDE Campaign Driven Enterprise (campaign driven company) communicates the launch of its product well in advance, makes it known that it will be limited in availability and asks its market to report if it is interested in having information or to buy it when it is available.
Don’t ask to buy, ask to express interest. Instead of taking out their credit card, they must reply to an email or click a like button. Buying or not is a binary choice, you risk losing possible customers who at that time are only 90% available to buy.
Even those who are available for purchase at only 25% could express their interest and put you in a position to be able to contact them again.