Exclusivity has always been an important differentiator for luxury brands.
Quality, price and aspiration are the other key dimensions for brands wishing to be positioned in the luxury end of their category. As a category becomes more competitive (such as the craft end of the coffee category) it pushes brands to greater extremes in order to maintain a point of compelling difference.
Russian coffee maker, Chernyi Cooperative has taken exclusivity to new heights with its coffee named Moscow Black; ‘A Coffee So Dark You Need Tor To Find It.’ Tor is an anonymous communications network that is part of the darknet, and home to the Moscow Black campaign. The product can only be purchased online at cherniyx23pmfane.onion (only accessible if you have joined Tor). Once a purchase is made using Bitcoins and the Qiwi payment system, customers receive coordinates to the whereabouts of their ‘ Moscow Black stash’.
The campaign was teased on Facebook in Russia targeting an audience linked to the notorious and now defunct Solyanka club in Moscow, with a video featuring members of the Moscow’s underworld. The clip (below) is unlike any coffee ad campaign you’ve ever seen – more like a video from an underground club – reinforcing the exclusivity of the highly targetted audience.
The risk of extreme exclusivity is that the market becomes too small to be commercially viable. But when part of a strategic, brand launch campaign, this type of approach can be more about building awareness and demand prior to broader distribution and availability.
When assessing the potential of brands we look for the combined dimensions of compelling differentiation – and Moscow Black with it’s highly focused target audience and extremely exclusive channel to market has created an outstanding platform for successful launch.
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more at…
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