A look at the marketing strategies behind hot holiday gifts of 2016

The strategies behind how manufacturers release popular holiday gifts

KUSA - Hatchimals and Nintendo's new NES classic game console are both hot holiday items that almost everyone wants.

Naturally, that means it's nearly impossible to get your hands on them.

Those Hatchimals, which are small interactive-creatures that hatch from an egg, have parents in a frenzy.

Many stores are only selling one per customer and some parents are paying three times the original $60 price online.

Many people wanting to get a flashback of their childhood are waiting in lines for hours to grab the Nintendo NES Classic game console.

A marketing expert at the University of Denver says this is how the marketers want it to work. They use scarcity to drive demand.

"They ration the supply, it's a limited addition or it's a limited number of availability of those products on the shelves," said Ali Besharat, Professor of Marketing. "Another strategy that has shown, has worked successfully in the market, is nostalgia marketing. This year Nintendo is definitely using that method besides scarcity marketing."

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Besharat says the scarcity tactic also helps drive demand by creating conversation.

"To some extent scarcity is good because it creates word of mouth and people on their social media they start a conversation about this product," he said.

Bottom line, it's a tough balance for marketers to reach and if the balance is tipping in their favor that likely means holiday shopping is going to be harder for the consumer.

"As a marketer you have to decide is this product going to make it as a historic or iconic product, then you manage the supply side of it. If it doesn't, then you better make sure this product is in all the stores on all the shelves the holiday season," Besharat said. 

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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