Is often the things we try and eliminate the most. Creating a barrier to anything seems to be the worst thing you could ever do. Which leads each of us to find ways to minimize and free others from barriers holding them back.
The reality is, having barriers to entry could be the best thing you did.
Photo Credit: david_shankbone
Today, everyone is trying to eliminate barriers (distractions) so more people will interact, engage, and buy. But with everyone trying to eliminate barriers, the reverse effect is taking place, barriers of convenience are being created which in turn hold people back.
There is a taco spot here in Nashville called Mas Tacos. Their food is amazing, but they have one barrier, they only accept cash. How annoying is that? But the barrier to entrance for me when going to Mas Tacos is that I know I have to have cash which makes me work for the food (I would call that exercising…walking to the ATM and back) and honestly makes me happy to go there. They have kept the barrier of cash only to cut down on cost but also to make you really want to have their tacos.
There is a coffee shop here in Nashville called Crema. They have the best coffee in town, and everyone knows this to be true because there is hardly ever a free table to be found in their shop. You would think people would go find somewhere else less crowded and quicker, and yet every time I am there the line is out the door. They have kept the barrier of scarcity over commercialization.
There is this sports team in St. Louis called the Cardinals. They have some of the best baseball players in the world on their team. They have some of the best young talent a team could have. But this talent is hand selected and features a very few. They have created a barrier to playing professional baseball, you have to be really really good to make their team. Thus making this barrier the standard of success and separating player from fan.
There is a game called CandyCrush. One of the most addicting games anyone will play (that is why I refuse to play it). They have created a barrier to how many times you can play by making you wait a set amount of time before you can go again. You can eliminate this barrier by paying money to continue.
Any time we try and market something, barriers are the first thing we try and eliminate. The thought of losing any potential “customer” crosses our mind and we start to comprise on our product or story.
Our world (whether it be physical or social) is full of noise. You cannot drive down the street without seeing a mortgage company telling you to like them on Facebook, or a TV show featuring a hashtag for every segment. When the noise is to loud the natural response is to turn it down or turn it off. Barriers can be the very thing that helps us cut through the noise. It is the Purple Cow of business, the hook to your pitch, the opening line of your speech, the cost of services. Yes, remove barriers, but make sure you don’t remove the barriers to entry.
Barriers do exactly what they are suppose to do…separate you from others.
Join the noise or stand out.