Recently I ended up at a bar late at night. It’s a revered place called De Raum. It’s been well covered on the web so I’m not going to give a review of it here. What I will do instead is tell you the story of the ‘Teachers Reserve’. And how this business justifies an ultra price premium.
I asked the bar tender for something sweet, to help take the edge off after a heavy day – something night cap-ish. He said;
“I know just the thing. The Teachers Reserve. For those moments when you’ve done all you can, when the days been hard, and it’s time to reflect, quietly and possibly have a conversation in your own head. It’s not exactly social, but poignant.”
He then made up the drink and presented it in a manner which will make sense when you see the photo essay below. He furtively passed me the book, while he looked in the other direction – as if to say: ‘let this be our little secret’.
Classic theatre at transaction. I was delighted, and I didn’t mind paying the $25 for it.
I was recently email some pics of Kulula Airlines livery. I’d describe it as eyeball worthy. Because it’s worth looking at, it’s worth talking about. There is no shortage of in cabin jokes from cabin crew while talking to passengers, but few have the courage to paint their personality on the fuselage like Kalula have. In an era of media proliferation, the trick any startup needs to master is the ability to be talked about. Nice work Kulula.
Local Australia firm fosters brewing has a popular brewery tour at their Melbourne plant (you get a free beer at the end of it) as does Media conglomerate NBC in the Rockerfella Centre in New York. None of this is free, and they are all fully booked pretty much every day. The thing that is almost as powerful as the cash such Industrial Tourism generates, is the relationship it builds with the brand.
It is pretty cool to be taken into the ‘secret back room’, even though we can all be pretty sure that Boeing or any large conglomerate are not about to give away any secrets on said tours. But this is where startups and SME’s can do it even better. We can let our early adopters into our Factory, Alpha testing, Retail back room, Warehouse, New Product Development session. We can let them expose our secret goodness to the market for us. Especially if we do something awesome like make great software, use recycled materials or anything creative.
So the question for startups is this: How can we let our early adopters and brand evangalists into our secret world to spread our world?
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The historically significant department store Bloomingdales do some pretty cool stuff. This includes the ‘Visitor discount’ they provide:
Yep, if you’re from another country you automatically receive an 11% discount on everything you buy. Now, this isn’t one of those trick promotions, impossible to get, with 100 other conditions. You simply go to the visitor center pictured above and show them your passport, or overseas license and that is it. And the discount is real, even if an item is on promotion or already discounted, you get the 11% on top of that. I was fortunate enough to get an incredible winter jacket which was already half price (end of winter discount, even though it was actually snowing outside) with an additional 11%. I was pretty happy. They also have a gift incentive if you spend over $200, and yep, I got my gift…
It get’s better, they also have personal shopping assistants, Multi-lingual assistants to take your around store and free hotel delivery for purchases greater that $250. You can read more about it here.
Sure, discounting isn’t always the path to profitability, but when you are taking one time customers, making them feel special, with ‘money to spend’, under your wing, it’s pretty clear that they are ‘inventing revenue’.
What does your startup do to ‘invent revenue’?