Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Rationale Behind Limited Edition Items

There's something very intriguing about limited edition products, more specifically limited edition fragrances. Only so many beautiful bottles are filled, produced and shipped until they run out of that gloriously scent of special. Why are people so attracted to the "one of a kind" nature of these fragrances?

...Is that even a question?

Everybody wants to be unique. Little do they know, they already are. You don't need a limited edition anything to be one in a million. However, I can definitely see the appeal because I get sucked into the must-have vortex every time I see those two magnetic words.

I just had this experience today, while browsing Twitter. Kim Kardashian posted this tweet: "OMG! Check out my limited edition wedding fragrance LOVE! How fab is the bottle?" Wedding fragance? A fab bottle? Neither of those things should interest me because (1) I am not getting married anytime soon, and (2) I want a fab fragrance, not a fab bottle (well, maybe I want a fab-ish bottle). Why did I click on the twitter post and go searching for more information? Why did I have to know about this limited edition fragrance? Come on, smartie, I think you know the answer already. It's because of the "one of a kind" nature of the product. I wanted to be one of the only ones to have my hands on that scent.

After being directed to Miss Kardashian's blog site, I found her detailed post on the fragrance and this accompanying message: "We’ve only produced 1000 bottles… one for me to wear on my wedding day, 200 for my bridal shower, and 799 for you guys!" Now this is clever. The thoughts running through my head after reading this were...

  • I could save this perfume to use on my wedding day and then smell like Kim will on hers. 
  • Only 799 other "normal" people will have this fragrance? This will be invaluable, I could sell it on Ebay for a fortune!
  • Kim's bridal shower will be filled with famous people - 200 of them. I will be using the same fragrance as those famous people! 

Of course, looking over these thoughts afterwards makes me realize how silly they really are.Although many of these thoughts arise from normal impulse purchasing, they mainly arise from the fact that this perfume is being advertised as a "limited edition" item - and people want it! They want to feel elite, they want to feel important, and they want to feel unique. What is most interesting is that Kim's Love perfume is currently "out of stock" (all 799 bottles have been sold) and is available to pre-order on her site. It is not truly a limited edition product because they can make more, and they will.

Please don't get me wrong about Kim's perfume - after reading the beautiful description of the top notes in the scent, I believe it must be absolutely captivating to wear. I also don't have a problem with limited edition advertising - it is a great way for companies to brand themselves and their products as special and high-end. The problem I have is with consumers' rationale when it comes to impulse purchasing, because many people do not think about how silly their rationale is when they go to buy on impulse. It is not a bad thing to have this rationale, as long as you go back and review it's validity before purchasing. One small impulse buy will not blow your bank account, but they will start to pile up and you will regret it. 

Be aware when it comes to advertising - especially "elite" advertising. You are special and unique on your own, and by no means do you need a limited edition item to be different or high class. You need to be you. 

scent full of love,
Jordyn xoxo

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