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What Can We Learn From “The Croissant Theory”?

There is a bakery near me, Bread Furst, that I visit sometimes. My son and his buddy love the glazed honey donuts and they’ll get pumped up at Gold’s Gym and go over for the donut every few weeks. 

(They show so much restraint only going every so often…I don’t know if I had that restraint as a teenager.)

Anyway, I saw this article about bakeries baking fewer products than they know they’ll have demand for as a marketing strategy…and that got me thinking about what we can learn from “The Croissant Theory”. 

Let’s run down a few ideas on demand creation and scarcity to help you put these ideas to work

  • Demand builds with awareness and brand equity. You see this in the way that people know about these bakeries, the way certain pastries sell out, and the knowledge that the product is worth the effort. 
  • Quality control matters. Brand equity builds in spoonfuls and is lost in buckets. So the decision to not make a product again if it doesn’t sell out is key. You don’t want to be the place that sells croissants at 1 PM so people start feeling like “they must not be that good.” Instead, you want to be the kind of place that makes someone skip their AM workout to get the triple chocolate croissant. 
  • Promotion is an aid. You have to have the goods for the promotion to work. If these bakeries didn’t have strong brands, no amount of promotion would help them sell out each day. They could build their brand using promotion, but this is where you have to pay attention to the quality of what you are selling. If your product isn’t great, the ads can have the opposite impact, making you seem like “all hat and no cattle.” 

What do y’all think about the article? Or, how do you use scarcity?