The limited editions represent a small part of what the big brands do year after year, if not only them. In the West, niche markets with high purchasing power continue to grow unstoppably. The improvement in income from work, the price of money, the almost unconditional tendency to borrow and a new understanding of personal and family existence steer consumption in the direction of quality of life in the short term.

More and more companies are launching limited editions for this type of customer. This is the case with fashion companies. They produce new lines with very limited series, full of details in the raw material, in its manufacture and in its price. The special format labels they contain make it clear to anyone who buys these products that they are buying a brand, fashion, a sophisticated product … and are saving many euros for the effort. Which gives it a high class consumer dignity.

The market dominates businesses and, if they are to survive, they must seek to meet the needs of these new consumers, including the need to differentiate themselves.

And one of the ways they have at their disposal to achieve that differentiation is by consuming products and brands that make them feel unique. The limited editions of certain products have a lot to do with this.

Limited or special?

For many experts, it’s a simple matter of terminology, and they find they’re so closely related that they can’t tell the difference. But the truth is that the consumer usually faces this segmentation when purchasing certain items. For example, of certain DVD movies, we can buy up to three versions: the standard edition, the special edition, and the limited edition (the latter is usually labeled “for collectors”).

Limited editions consist of differentiating the product, either through small improvements, design changes or additional elements. In the latter case, it may not be a new design, just the incorporation of an extra. With music CDs, for example, limited editions are often the same product plus a DVD with video clips unpublished, a untie in a recording studio or some photos.

They can also be supported by an exclusive design. Sometimes the new product itself is a limited edition with an appropriate design. These versions of a possibly limited edition apply to special editions. The difference is that the limited ones imply a limitation of the supply in one of the following ways:

By the number of units offered for sale. In this case, the editions are very small and are usually numbered. The fact that they are numbered represents a guarantee for the consumer that the product will not be reissued, so the item purchased has an added value, that of scarcity, which makes it much more attractive.

At the time this product will be available. It can be a year, a few months, or just during a specific period, such as a month. B. Christmas.

According to the consumer segment to which you want to target the offer, for example only to people who can buy it via the Internet; or a very specialized audience, such as B. an article aimed only at the medical sector.

Amplitude. The special editions, for their part, represent a broader concept that includes the characteristics of the limited editions, but which on the other hand does not limit the product offered.

beyond luxury

Most of the experts interviewed believe that it is more common for luxury brands to produce limited editions – a high percentage, up to 70% of their sales, can be made from it – but that it would be enough to do this type of edition if one of the following conditions occurs in the product:

emotional connection. A common denominator of most limited edition products is that the consumer can develop an emotional connection, identification and involvement with them. Therefore, everyday products (detergents and food in general) would be excluded.

Collectible. The moment you make a limited edition, either by the number of units or when it will be available, you make the product a rare commodity that is likely to become a collector’s item. In marketing, the maxim “If people like a product, the more scarce it is, the more they appreciate it” seems to work.

Missed opportunity. The scarcity argument can be used as a lever to encourage the consumer to buy or try the product before it runs out.

Why make limited editions?

According to the interviewed experts, these are the main reasons why a company is interested in producing limited editions:

To improve the brand image. When we make a limited edition, we offer the consumer an exclusive product that helps enhance the company’s brand image. The motivation for exclusivity is very present in products associated with a large economic investment and reflecting high status.

Enter a more profitable market niche. Going into a more exclusive distribution channel with a limited edition can be a good strategy. For example, a wine brand that wants to get into restaurants or gourmet shops could do this type of edition to achieve that. In short, it’s about reaching customers with greater purchasing power that the brand hadn’t previously targeted.

Loyalty to the brand’s “heavy users”. If you release a limited edition from time to time, you’ll get regular customers who buy your brand before any other like product to keep an eye on it. Because you are offering them something different in a product that they really like because they feel identified with the values ​​that the brand conveys. If this edition can also become a collector’s item, offer them something from which they have an economic benefit in addition to the ideal value. They might not buy every limited edition that you buy, but they will surely know about them if they are interested.

Commemorate specific dates or anniversaries. There are many brands that use the limited edition resource to celebrate specific dates, such as the anniversary of their creation or the first time one of their products was made. The aim is to share this date with the consumer in a special way, thus giving brand awareness.

company management