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What We Can Learn from Women Entrepreneurs About Surprise Marketing and Leveraging Exclusivity for Brand Growth

Tyra Douyon - March 29, 2024

Surprise-Marketing-Womens-History-Month©JLco Julia Amaral

One of the most popular cross-generational sayings about surprises is from the fictional character Forrest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” While we certainly agree with how frustrating a box of unmarked chocolates is, there is something intriguing and tactical about how celebrities, influencers, and various companies use surprise marketing to peak customer interest and sell out their products in only a few days. Using several women entrepreneurs as a metric this Women’s History Month, we’re diving deep into how surprise marketing works and why it matters.


As Told by Beyoncé – What is ‘Surprise Marketing’?

Surprise is one of the most powerful marketing tools. Women entrepreneur singer/songwriter and producer Beyoncé Knowles-Carter is known for using surprise marketing to her benefit. Beyoncé’s back-to-back surprise album drops, exclusive product launches with Parkwood Entertainment, and limited-time releases, like her presale vinyl covers for her new album Cowboy Carter, are testaments to her commitment to using exclusivity and surprise as a marketing tool.

When a marketer can build value in a product or service through genuine excitement, anticipation, and surprise, the results can be outstanding and lucrative. For most companies, attaining the excitement and suspense that Beyoncé continually garners doesn’t come easy. It took years of her using traditional methods like radio visits, talk show interviews, and print ads (billboards, posters, and magazine covers) to create a solid personal brand that resonates with her audience. However, brands can still take a page from Beyoncé’s strategy book and incorporate some of the most essential techniques of surprise marketing into their overall business model.

💡Rather than marketing your next sale or promotion several days in advance, try a surprise announcement for your upcoming giveaway.
Email marketing is an excellent tool for utilizing this technique. Rearview Advertising can help drive consumer action with our intuitive email marketing campaigns. We run your email campaign for you so you can focus on running your business!

Temu Merchandise©PenguinLens

Forget Raymond…Everyone Loves Free Stuff

Let’s be honest here: who doesn’t love free stuff? If a company randomly sent a $30 gift certificate to your email, you’d likely take advantage of the discount. You may even go the extra mile and send your friends and family a signup link so they can reap the same benefits. Although companies have been mailing coupons and discount codes since the dawn of capitalism, modern tactics for pushing copious amounts of products are varied and include more surprises.

Temu: Where ‘Shopping Meets Entertainment’

The gamification of online shopping has finally hit the U.S. market, and the proof is in the pocketbooks of companies like Temu. CEO/ Founder of Temu Maral Dipodiputro has taken the brand to the next level in the United States and the United Kingdom while still carrying the weight of online backlash for some of its behind-the-scenes business practices. With a reported $3 billion in revenue in the first half of 2023, analysts estimate Temu’s yearly revenue to be at least $6 billion in 2024.

This rapid financial growth is primarily due to the company incorporating virtual games inside the app that give free coupons and products to their customers. One is a fruit-growing game that entertains and keeps users hooked to the platform. Other games and tasks emerge on the screen in surprise popups and range from shaking your phone for micro-credits to growing virtual trees that can eventually yield real-life rewards like a box of mangoes (source). While Temu’s success can certainly be admired, a gamified system doesn’t work in every industry.

💡Reflect on what matters to your customers and figure out a way to give it to them more.
In the real estate industry, seasonal promotions are a staple, but consider the other part of the equation to a successful home buying experience: real estate agents. You can start an agent incentive program that gives them money each time they bring in a new buyer. You can also offer free classes and perks so they can network and update their licenses. Employing these strategies can set your company apart and establish brand loyalty from everyone involved in the buying process.

Exclusive Banner©LP Design

Gatekeep Your VIP List: The Psychology of Exclusivity

Can you keep a secret? If not, you can learn a thing or two from luxury brands that historically reserve their best, high-quality products for the rich, famous, and fashionable. It’s a recurring nightmare for many to attend a popular event and see someone wearing the same outfit as them. To avoid this awkward encounter, people spend more on items less people have or only a select few can get. How can you add this gatekeeping tactic to your business’s VIP (very important products) list?

Take the Hermès Birkin Bag, for example.

Designed in 1984 by Jane Birkin, an English-French actress/singer, and Jean-Louis Dumas, then the artistic director and CEO of Hermès, this luxury accessory with humble beginnings as a sketch on an airplane sickness bag has sold for up to 2 million dollars. Because the Birkin is so expensive, only the wealthy can afford to own it, making it the most exclusive purse in the retail market.

💡Think about using exclusivity to elevate your brand’s online presence.
For example, a giveaway for the first 50 people or an email campaign that allows the first 200 people to access your website a day early for special product launches solidifies your brand as one to watch. Of course, make sure you have high-quality products to match this level of exclusivity so your business doesn’t face backlash from unsatisfied customers.


As women entrepreneurs continually show the world how their surprise marketing strategies produce successful results, it’s time to take their lead. Contact Rearview Advertising for your marketing strategy needs and services. We are experts in our field, with over 25 years of experience, and can help you accomplish your design, advertising, and business goals. Get started today!

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