I recently read that “the top 100 CEOs” of major American-owned companies have more wealth than the bottom 25% of all USA households. If I figure correctly, that is approximately 32 million households!!
With this kind of information, I further looked at wealth statistics beyond these 100 individuals and, yes, not only is the 1/10th of 1% true, but it’s the top 3% to 5% who also have a lot of wealth and the way they use it is in terms of “exclusivity.”
One example of exclusivity marketing is the Norwegian cruise line which has created “The HAVEN,” a ship within a ship. This ship within a ship is an exclusive area for about 275 elite guests who enjoy not only a concierge and 24-hour butler service, but also a private pool, sun deck, and restaurant, creating an oasis free from the “regular crowds” that are elsewhere to be found on the same cruise ship.
According to Norwegian’s CEO, Kevin Sheehan, “it was always the intention of the Haven to be an exclusively designed area, away from the masses and to afford them of the opportunity to be away from the masses.”
Sounds pretty snobby, but not since the gilded age of Teddy Roosevelt and JP Morgan has there been such economic and social stratification that has rigidly separated the classes. Probably not since the Titanic!
With the advent (and success) of many new hybrid centers or BEC’s, the bowling industry has been inching towards more “exclusivity” and the market is reacting. There are many reports of celebrities, sports stars, politicians, business people and others of the elite class are seeking these types of bowling amenities.
But what if you don’t have a boutique or a hybrid or an exclusive area? What do you do?
I think you can offer special amenities, without spending lots of money, such as:
1. A “brand” for the “exclusive” area
2. Valet parking
3. Special plated and catered meals (presentation is everything so if you’re not an F&B specialist, get some help here
4. A separate sound proof screen or sound proof drape to create exclusivity for lanes 1 to 8 or 25 to 32
5. Separate staff to cater to the “elites” drink and food preferences.
6. Bowling shirts they can wear (clean them after every use!!)
7. New socks
8. Private bartender and portable drink station
9. Rewire your sound system so these 8 lanes can get their own music. This might be the most expensive part of the total investment, but worth it
10. Offer options like
a. Private DJ
c. MC for crazy bowl contests
d. Other entertainment such as caricaturists or magicians that might be wanted
There is a market, I believe, in every town where certain people want to be able to take advantages of exclusive offers. It’s the “elite” segment and they are out there...and as in JP Morgan’s era, their belief is: “money is no object when it comes to satisfying their wants.”
It’s an opportunity…just needs some of your attention!