Build a good product, price it well, and then make it exclusive. Congrats, you’ve earned a cult following!
So obviously that sounds way easy, right? Wrong. Building a good product isn’t done in a night or two of brainstorming, followed by a week of development. It takes time, dedication, know-how, intuition and a lot of complicated stuff. Pricing it well isn’t always a good move either, since you’ve invested a lot of money into the aforementioned development of your product. If you price it well, you likely won’t be running any profits for a couple years. Making it exclusive isn’t that hard, but you have to make sure your product slowly but surely gets out anyway.
Throw that all together, and what do you get? Pretty much what OnePlus did with their “Flagship Killer”, the OnePlus One. OnePlus is a young startup, the One being their first released product. It’s a smartphone, the specs are great and the price is too. $350 for the 64GB model, can you believe that? It comes running a version of CyanogenMod, geared towards a great experience on the One. And from what little I’ve gathered, it shows.
Good stuff for a low price, and did I mention it’s unlocked? Putting one plus one together isn’t hard here, demand is through the roof! They’ve limited sales to an invite system to help them keep up with this insane demand. Purchased a One? You’ll get three invites sometime soon, to give away (or sell on eBay, this makes me sad). This (temporary?) scarcity makes the phone even more desirable than it already was. Though not intended as such, it’s quite clever a marketing move, though it can be risky to pull.
Hype’s essentially free marketing though, and there’s lots of it in their target communities right now.