This is not my bottle of Husk’s ‘Lost Blend’ rum, nor is it me (it’s a photogenic Husk employee), but I am looking forward to getting my bottle #64 of this limited release rum, after my name was picked up in an ‘online lottery’. Their excellent rum tastes better than toilet paper, but I share some similarities with Woolies panic buyers.
The ‘scarcity’ heuristic is a mental shortcut that places value on an item based on how easily it might be lost, especially to competitors – the more difficult it is to acquire an item, the more value it has. We use an item’s perceived abundance to quickly estimate its quality or utility. Whilst I sentimentally like the idea that the ‘Lost Blend’ was created in the original old shed at Husk, and the recipe lost in the flood, the ‘online lottery’ certainly piqued my interest.
‘Social proof’ is a principle of social psychology that reinforces the effect of scarcity. If a product is sold out, or inventory is low, we think it must be worth buying it because everyone else is. Also, if you’ve ‘committed’ to buying toilet paper, and you can’t have it, it makes you want the item more. Maybe you’ll buy as much as you can at a nearby supermarket, and maybe the fact that I’ve cut down my alcohol consumption made me want the bottle even more!
Regardless, I’m also looking forward to a taste-off between the Lost Blend and Husk’s 1866 blend, their first limited release.