In my opinion I think a lot of marketing tactics are based on psychology - how can it not be when most of the buying decisions that we make are emotionally driven? Or the fact that marketers like to speak of segmenting by psychographics in addition to demographics?
It seems to work for some businesses though, and here are some examples:
- Exclusive by-invite only events that are limited to X number of attendees (and the attendees have to apply to get selected to attend) - usually these fill up fast. There have been a few business conferences that are like this, like the Impact National Conference.
- Online eCommerce websites that have sales for brand name designers at a discount price - membership is by referral only. I remember seeing a company that does that when I went to the Online Retailer Conference. They went from zero to close to a million accounts in less than 2 years.
- Car manufacturers that design a model with only 10 of those cars available in the world - usually this can drive prices through the roof since the product is so limited.
What I mean is, your product can't suck.
Imagine lining up for 2 days to buy this exclusive, limited edition product only to find that it doesn't deliver on its proposed benefits. Or ever attend an event that had tons of buzz but didn't turn out to be as great as you had hoped?
So yes, exclusivity may work only if your product is just as awesome.