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I think what is really being marketed is the scarcity of a product or service. "Everybody" wants a Ferrari because so few can have one, for example.

This does not have to take the form of EXPENSIVE conspicuous consumption, because scarcity can be accomplished in minimalist consumption cases, too. A couple of examples from my location:

- The Shambhala Mountain Buddhist organization in northern Colorado offers a variety of meditation retreats. You go there, you meditate, sleep, and eat. Period. Hardly any socializing except at meals. But it's pretty expensive; around $1000 per week to do something you could do for free at home.
http://www.shambhalamountain.org/

- The Western Jubilee Warehouse in Colorado Springs is a small recording studio that caters to acoustic western music artists. (Not "country and western" but "western", which is old-timey and suffers minimal "production.") To attend their shows you have to be invited by the band; there are no public concerts or big marketing campaigns--in fact, most people in town don't even know it exists. The value proposition is scarcity.
http://www.westernjubilee.com/index.htm

by asdf on Tue Jan 13th, 2009 at 09:58:43 AM EST

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