Can a velvet rope help your business?
Will implementing a simple system of exclusion actually help a business thrive?
Although it’s terrible to note, our society is focused on status and the appearance of being part of a limited access, esoteric group.
It could be human nature that drives people to want to hop onto the bandwagon and join the next big thing. When that fancy French restaurant opens in your area and lines start to bend around the block and the reservations become impossible to get, we want in!
The idea of the velvet rope comes from any club or bar that separates the “regular people” from the VIP’s by using a velvet rope and a large, corn-fed bouncer. We don’t know what’s behind those ropes, nor do we actually care. We just want in! It runs with our need to be significant.
How can this ideology help your business?
The velvet rope and thought of being excluded from this other realm causes what Social Media Consultant, Frank J. Kenny, calls an “insatiable want.” It causes an unrivaled demand for your service or product. There are countless examples of businesses that utilize this velvet rope to entice people.
The largest wholesale foods store, Costco, employs people to simply stand at the door and make sure that only members enter.
Nike sells limited edition shoes, such as SB’s and Air Jordan’s. People camp out overnight and pay an awfully inflated price for a pair shoes. A shoe that is normally 70 dollars goes for upward of two hundred, and that is before it hits eBay.
There is this Korean food truck that sells delicious Korean fusion food—bulgogi tacos and burritos, and kim chi quesadillas. Moving to different locations every night, the truck could only be found by following them on Twitter. It worked marvelously!
When new Social Media platforms release a beta version, a buzz is created because people could only join if they were invited by members.
From these examples, you can learn to create your own buzz and advocates by putting up a velvet rope.
Create your own Buzz!
We are not suggesting that businesses should start kicking out customers in the hope that it will make them want your services or products more. No, that is not the way. We can learn much from the velvet rope ideology, but we should tweak it a bit to fit your business.
Using Social Media, you can create a velvet rope effect. By establishing a membership system or newsletter (your own VIP), you can help people feel more significant. However, this is not enough.
For your private group, the key is to offer them specials and FREE STUFF. Make them enjoy being a part of your group. Once people start to see all the cool stuff that these people are getting, they will want to join. In the world of social media, people can join through a variety of ways:
- Facebook: Use your fan page and the “likes” you get to garner more attention and prospects by giving free tips and discounts. Give access to “exclusive” product info to your loyal fans first
- Twitter: Tweet information to your followers. Learn from the Korean Food Truck!
- Email List: Send helpful tips and coupons.
- Check-In Deals: Provide to people who are “in the know.”
The Velvet Rope Gives Back
All of these tips can work with social media platforms such as Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yelp, and so on. The velvet rope you create doesn’t have to be as brutal as its origins. Just extract the fundamental goals; to provide the people who are loyal to your business with extra benefits by putting them in a special group, and other people will come knocking at your door.
Create demand and people will come. It’s human nature!
John Zahn is a Co-Founder of Omnibeat. As a long-time business owner with an interest in technology, he strives to help businesses embrace new technology while sharing their unique story online. John loves helping business owners “Catch the Wave of Digital Marketing.”
Omnibeat is the digital marketing outsource solution for growth in Los Alamitos and the greater Long Beach area.
Photo by JeffMaysh used under a Creative Commons license.