What Is Hunger Marketing? Hunger Marketing In A Nutshell

Hunger marketing is a marketing strategy focused on manipulating consumer emotions. By bringing products to market with an attractive price point and restricted supply, consumers have a stronger desire to make a purchase.

Understanding hunger marketing

Hunger marketing as a strategy is best exemplified by Apple. 

The company is well-versed in bringing products to market with an attractive price point to lure potential customers. An imaginary shortage is then created which appears to restrict supply, allowing Apple to raise prices and maximize profits.

While Apple has a proven track record in releasing innovative products, it’s important to understand that consumers are also buying from the company because it is manipulating their emotions. Indeed, hunger marketing is a psychological strategy that increases the desire level of an individual through scarcity. Regardless of whether the scarcity is real or manufactured, dwindling supply attracts consumer attention and increases the perceived value of the product.

As a result, many consumers make irrational and emotional purchasing decisions in these scenarios. It is thought the motivation to buy a scarce product is driven by a consumer’s desire to be seen as unique and respected by their peers.

Three hunger marketing techniques

Let’s now take a look at three ways businesses create scarcity:

  1. Limited stock – perhaps the most common form of hunger marketing. If a consumer finds it difficult to purchase a product because of limited supply, they tend to believe the product is popular and valuable. Many eCommerce companies also provide real-time information on low inventory level products to motivate customers to purchase.
  2. Limited time – here, the business places a limit on the amount of time a product is available to take advantage of the fear of missing out. Limited time scarcity takes the form of daily deals, coupons with expiry dates, and promotions associated with major events or holidays such as Black Friday.
  3. Special discounts – companies also create scarcity with discount pricing strategies because price is a significant driver of consumer behavior. Discounted pricing has a strong emotional attraction to consumers and may cause them to spend more money than usual. Special discounts are commonly used in conjunction with time constraints.

Factors that influence hunger marketing campaigns

A hunger marketing campaign will work in most cases for the psychological reasons mentioned earlier. 

However, the chances of success can be improved by paying attention to the following factors:

  • Ensure the product has high brand equity. Do consumers understand the brand personality and image? Do they resonate with the major product benefits? High brand equity is critical to the success of hunger marketing as a strategy because it stimulates emotions.
  • Consider a diverse range of marketing channels. The business must also determine where its audience resides and target the appropriate channels to create awareness. The value of a product then increases as word-of-mouth advertising creates a snowball effect of perceived scarcity.
  • Use the strategy in moderation. If hunger marketing is used too frequently, there is a chance the consumer will become wise to the strategy and wait for the imaginary supply shortage to be rectified. Some will also become tired of waiting in line, so to speak, and seek out similar products from a competitor. This may also occur if a product fails to live up to consumer expectations.

Key takeaways:

  • Hunger marketing involves launching products with an attractive price point and then restricting supply. Consumers then become motivated to make irrational or emotional buying decisions.
  • Hunger marketing can be accomplished in a few different ways: limited stock, limited time, or special discounts. Some businesses may opt to use a combination of all three.
  • Hunger marketing works best for products with high brand equity that target the right channels. If used too frequently, the strategy can alienate consumers and result in them purchasing a rival product.

Marketing Glossary 

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing describes the process whereby an affiliate earns a commission for selling the products of another person or company. Here, the affiliate is simply an individual who is motivated to promote a particular product through incentivization. The business whose product is being promoted will gain in terms of sales and marketing from affiliates.

Ambush Marketing

As the name suggests, ambush marketing raises awareness for brands at events in a covert and unexpected fashion. Ambush marketing takes many forms, one common element, the brand advertising their products or services has not paid for the right to do so. Thus, the business doing the ambushing attempts to capitalize on the efforts made by the business sponsoring the event.

Brand Building

Brand building is the set of activities that help companies to build an identity that can be recognized by its audience. Thus, it works as a mechanism of identification through core values that signal trust and that help build long-term relationships between the brand and its key stakeholders.

Brand Equity

The brand equity is the premium that a customer is willing to pay for a product that has all the objective characteristics of existing alternatives, thus, making it different in terms of perception. The premium on seemingly equal products and quality is attributable to its brand equity.

Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is about creating a mental real estate in the mind of the target market. If successful, brand positioning allows a business to gain a competitive advantage. And it also works as a switching cost in favor of the brand. Consumers recognizing a brand might be less prone to switch to another brand.

Business Storytelling

Business storytelling is a critical part of developing a business model. Indeed, the way you frame the story of your organization will influence its brand in the long-term. That’s because your brand story is tied to your brand identity, and it enables people to identify with a company.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the most powerful commercial activities which focuses on leveraging content production (text, audio, video, or other formats) to attract a targeted audience. Content marketing focuses on building a strong brand, but also to convert part of that targeted audience into potential customers.

Digital Marketing

A digital channel is a marketing channel, part of a distribution strategy, helping an organization to reach its potential customers via electronic means. There are several digital marketing channels, usually divided into organic and paid channels. Some organic channels are SEO, SMO, email marketing. And some paid channels comprise SEM, SMM, and display advertising.

Growth Marketing

Growth marketing is a process of rapid experimentation, which in a way has to be “scientific” by keeping in mind that it is used by startups to grow, quickly. Thus, the “scientific” here is not meant in the academic sense. Growth marketing is expected to unlock growth, quickly and with an often limited budget.

Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing is an advertising strategy that seeks to utilize low-cost and sometimes unconventional tactics that are high impact. First coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 book of the same title, guerrilla marketing works best on existing customers who are familiar with a brand or product and its particular characteristics.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy designed to attract customers to a brand with content and experiences that they derive value from. Inbound marketing utilizes blogs, events, SEO, and social media to create brand awareness and attract targeted consumers. By attracting or “drawing in” a targeted audience, inbound marketing differs from outbound marketing which actively pushes a brand onto consumers who may have no interest in what is being offered.

Integrated Marketing

Integrated marketing describes the process of delivering consistent and relevant content to a target audience across all marketing channels. It is a cohesive, unified, and immersive marketing strategy that is cost-effective and relies on brand identity and storytelling to amplify the brand to a wider and wider audience.

Marketing Mix

The marketing mix is a term to describe the multi-faceted approach to a complete and effective marketing plan. Traditionally, this plan included the four Ps of marketing: price, product, promotion, and place. But the exact makeup of a marketing mix has undergone various changes in response to new technologies and ways of thinking. Additions to the four Ps include physical evidence, people, process, and even politics.

Marketing Personas

Marketing personas give businesses a general overview of key segments of their target audience and how these segments interact with their brand. Marketing personas are based on the data of an ideal, fictional customer whose characteristics, needs, and motivations are representative of a broader market segment.

Multi-Channel Marketing

Multichannel marketing executes a marketing strategy across multiple platforms to reach as many consumers as possible. Here, a platform may refer to product packaging, word-of-mouth advertising, mobile apps, email, websites, or promotional events, and all the other channels that can help amplify the brand to reach as many consumers as possible.

Multi-Level Marketing

Multi-level marketing (MLM), otherwise known as network or referral marketing, is a strategy in which businesses sell their products through person-to-person sales. When consumers join MLM programs, they act as distributors. Distributors make money by selling the product directly to other consumers. They earn a small percentage of sales from those that they recruit to do the same – often referred to as their “downline”.

Niche Marketing

A microniche is a subset of potential customers within a niche. In the era of dominating digital super-platforms, identifying a microniche can kick off the strategy of digital businesses to prevent competition against large platforms. As the microniche becomes a niche, then a market, scale becomes an option.

Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing involves businesses and their brands forming long-term relationships with customers. The focus of relationship marketing is to increase customer loyalty and engagement through high-quality products and services. It differs from short-term processes focused solely on customer acquisition and individual sales.

Sustainable Marketing

Sustainable marketing describes how a business will invest in social and environmental initiatives as part of its marketing strategy. Also known as green marketing, it is often used to counteract public criticism around wastage, misleading advertising, and poor quality or unsafe products.

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