I was introduced to the concept of FOMO by some young entrepreneurs I met, who of course, where less than half my age. FOMO stands for Fear of Missing Out. It’s something that can be used to great advantage by entrepreneurs in consumer facing businesses like fashion, food, and events.
Many millennials suffer from FOMO – seeing what their friends are doing via Facebook, SnapChat, Instagram, etc. often creates that fear that they are missing out on something great that their friends are enjoying.
The key for entrepreneurs is if you are selling perishable inventory, like tickets to concerts, artisanal bread, or the latest fashion. FOMO doesn’t really work for products that are unlikely to sell out – without the forcing function of perishable inventory, FOMO won’t kick in. I know that, as we tried it with Endorfyn, the PopSleuth, Inc. app that helped people find out what’s new from and about their favorite musicians, actors, directors, authors, etc.
Our audience wasn’t worried that they would miss out on the latest CD (they are now streaming) or book (ebooks don’t go out of print) or DVD (now on demand or now streaming).
The fashion sites have been the most successful employers of FOMO by creating artificial perishable inventory in the form of flash sales, where great deals were only available for a very short time.
So even if what you sell isn’t naturally perishable you can create the impression it is by using a combination of limited time and/or quantities, combined with sale pricing to have FOMO drive you prospects to BUY NOW, before they miss out, and suffer from the dreaded Fear of Missing Out.