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I love it when a company rips up the rulebook.

I’m thinking about Naked Wines. After forming in 2009 they approached ecommerce in their own way.  

To get hold on their products, customers are required to pay a £20 monthly subscription. Customers then receive wine at 25% to 50% off retail prices, or what the company calls “insider prices”.

The subscription money is then invested in independent winemakers. All new customers have to go on a waiting list of 35,000.

To increase the sense of exclusivity, they even restrict the availability of the most in-demand wines.

In 2014 the company recorded a pre-tax profit of nearly £2 million and global sales of £53 million. Demand was so high that they actually capped their number of customers to 250,000. By thunder!

I read a quote recently that suggested reverse psychology works in their favour: “When they come off the waiting list, they feel like they are being allowed to play with the toys.”

And they go crazy with the spending as a result.

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