Insight from Our Expert Intern: Rarity Equals Value

Well, what do you think?

This is something that’s been on my mind for the past couple of weeks. It feels like today’s action sports industry is a little over-saturated with, well, everything. Actually, it’s more like the over-saturation has become too over-saturated. Logos are slapped everywhere. Each company has their own event. Even non-endemic brands like Snickers and Nestle are breaking into the scene. If you haven’t heard of what those two have done by now, you’re definitely sleeping under a rock. Here’s the latest ad campaign for Nestle’s Aero chocolate bar:

What am I essentially trying to get at here? That brands are all over the place. Take energy drinks, like Monster, for example. It’s everywhere. I mean I can turn on the TV, watch any motocross competition and find three green claws practically ripping through my screen. I can even be driving down the freeway and find those same claws pawing the back window of a lifted pickup. Okay, maybe I’m generalizing a little bit, but you have to admit that you’ve seen it before. This green beast is everywhere like Santa during Christmas. Maybe Monster is doing something right by keeping their fans happy with sticker kits. I’ll admit that I was stoked when I got my sticker package from Burton a few years ago. Okay it was like a year ago and it really only had two “Burton” stickers, but I digress. My point is, do we really need all the branding? I mean, hasn’t anyone ever heard of El Dorado? Or the Holy Grail? Or how about just plain gold? Their rarity, whether real or not, equals value. Monty Python seemed to understand. It creates a mystique that is yearned for.

Enter the world of Red Bull. Now, I may be a little bit partial to the Wiiings (I am drinking a Red Bull Cola as I write this), but think about it. Where else do you see their logo appear besides on athletes and Red Bull sponsored events? I can’t even get a sticker for my little car! I called them up, and they told me something about bull sperm? Yeah, I don’t know either. Of course, they do sponsor many athletes and hold lots of events. If you were in New York last month you probably heard the buzz about Red Bull Snowscrapers


If you’re a skater living in the Los Angeles area you might’ve caught word about Red Bull 7 City Hustle.  But let’s face it, other than those two aspects (and besides the store) you don’t really hear or see much about them. They’re like the cool kid that nobody really pays attention to or messes with because of some unspoken respect. And even though they don’t slap their logo all over the place, they’ve still managed to win Best Carbonated Beverage of 2008 according to BevNET.

By now you’ve probably heard that you always want what you can’t have, like that hot girl in tenth grade. The same holds true here. People can’t get stickers from Red Bull, but kids want them that much more. And when they get their hands on one, if they get their hands on one, it makes it that much more valuable. Why? Because of the rarity, just like water during a drought. Funny, California has been in a drought for quite some time now.

Anyone feeling a bit thirsty?

– JC

“A market is never saturated with a good product, but it is very quickly saturated with a bad one.”
-Henry Ford


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