Holiday Season Means an Onslaught of Limited Edition Products

The classic, old marketing play of a false sense of scarcity

Headshot of Robert Klara

It’s that time of year again. No, not just shopping time—time for brands big and small to execute that old marketing play that consistently delivers: issuing a limited-edition version of itself. By creating a (usually false) sense of scarcity, limited editions make for quick, higher-margin sales since they always seem to cost just a wee bit more. According to a 2007 study conducted by a Purdue grad student, “Adding a limited-edition product has a positive direct effect on brand profits through the increased willingness of consumers to pay for such a product.” Of course, when too many brands create limited editions, the whole effect goes out the window. But that risk hasn’t slowed the onslaught of offerings for the 2013 holiday shopping season. Below, a few of the more colorful ones.


Got a hockey fan on that gift list? Sorry, too late: The Chicago Blackhawks sold out vials of melted ice–$99 apiece–from this year’s Stanley Cup game. A least the profits went to Charity.

Finally, a suitable retort to those shirt-and-tie box sets from Walmart. “We’re pushing back against the throw-away, disposable culture,” said H+H’s designer Brady Dahmer.

“There was never a truer friendship than the one we had with Mr. Sinatra,” says JD’s brand director Phil Epps. Ever seen pics of the Rat Pack’s onstage bar? The man is telling the truth.

“For over 137 years, Jockey has been covering assets,” CMO Dustin Cohn explained to us, “and this was a fun way to continue to give customers the support they deserve.” 




@UpperEastRob Robert Klara is a senior editor, brands at Adweek, where he specializes in covering the evolution and impact of brands.