In marketing, where attracting customers is paramount, demarketing is a lesser-known yet equally important concept. While traditional marketing focuses on drawing in ideal customers, demarketing involves intentionally repelling those not aligning with your brand's values or offerings.

Despite their immense desirability, have you ever noticed the scarcity of advertisements for Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, or Lamborghini? These luxury car makers masterfully employ demarketing tactics. They limit production and eschew traditional advertising, creating an aura of exclusivity.

This scarcity intensifies demand among affluent consumers, reinforcing these vehicles as symbols of luxury and prestige. Their strategy isn't about reaching everyone but captivating the elite, thereby managing demand while enhancing the allure of their high-end automobiles.

This demarketing approach isn't exclusive to luxury brands. Companies like Volkswagen, Apple, and Coca-Cola also leverage similar strategies, which we'll explore further in this blog after defining demarketing.

Understanding Demarketing

At its core, demarketing is more than selling products or services. It's about shaping your brand's identity to resonate deeply with a specific audience while respectfully distancing yourself from those who may not find your offerings suitable. This intentional polarisation ensures that your marketing efforts are not diluted by trying to please everyone but instead focused on building meaningful connections with your ideal clientele.

The Good and the Bad of Marketing

Imagine marketing as a magnet with two poles: attraction and repulsion. On one side, your marketing endeavours are carefully crafted to attract your dream customers—individuals who appreciate your offerings and share your values and aspirations. This aspect of marketing involves showcasing your strengths, unique selling propositions, and the qualities that make your brand stand out in a crowded marketplace.

However, every marketing action has an equal and opposite reaction. As you attract your ideal customers, you inevitably repel others—those who may not resonate with your brand's messaging, pricing, or overall image. This natural process of attraction and repulsion defines demarketing and underscores its importance in strategic business planning.

The Business Impact

From a business standpoint, embracing demarketing means accepting that your brand may not appeal to everyone—and that's perfectly okay. It's essential for maintaining authenticity and clarity in your market positioning. By defining who your brand is for and who it is not for, you create a focused strategy that fosters loyalty among your target audience while minimising the risk of diluted messaging or customer dissatisfaction.

This "standpoint", or position, as well as your messaging, can and should be clearly defined in the very early stage of your business journey but will need a few iterations anyway.

For example, luxury brands often use demarketing techniques by emphasising exclusivity and prestige, attracting affluent consumers while implicitly discouraging bargain hunters or price-sensitive shoppers. This deliberate polarisation helps maintain the brand's allure and ensures customers align with its values and expectations.

Your marketing services, editing videos for premium clients, or focusing on YouTube strategies for people in finance are perfect strategies for selling a high-ticket service.

Examples of Demarketing

Coca-Cola: In light of health trends, Coca-Cola has subtly shifted its focus towards its diet and zero-sugar variants. While not directly reducing marketing for its classic sodas, emphasising healthier options is a form of demarketing the sugary drinks.

Volkswagen: Amidst increasing environmental awareness, Volkswagen has promoted its electric vehicles over traditional fuel-based models. By focusing on eco-friendly cars, Volkswagen demarkets its less sustainable options, responding to the global push for reduced carbon emissions.

Starbucks: Starbucks has used demarketing for some of its high-calorie, sugary drinks by promoting smaller sizes and alternative milk options. This shift caters to health-conscious consumers subtly reducing the demand for their more indulgent beverages.

Apple: Apple periodically demarkets older iPhone models by discontinuing them and focusing marketing efforts on newer, advanced models. This strategy encourages consumers to purchase the latest technology, gradually phasing out older products.

IKEA: IKEA promotes its sustainable and eco-friendly products, subtly demarketing their less sustainable options. This aligns with the growing consumer preference for environmentally responsible products. 

Successful demarketing requires balancing attracting your ideal customers and respectfully repelling others. It involves understanding the nuances of your target market, crafting messages that resonate deeply with your audience, and standing firm in your brand's principles—even if it means not catering to everyone's preferences.

Moreover, demarketing empowers businesses to differentiate themselves in competitive landscapes by communicating their unique value propositions clearly and confidently. By embracing authenticity and transparency, brands can build trust and credibility among their core audience, fostering long-term customer loyalty and advocacy.


Demarketing is a strategic imperative for businesses seeking to thrive in today's competitive market environment. It requires a nuanced understanding of audience segmentation, brand identity, and strategic communication.

Remember that demarketing is not about excluding potential customers but rather about focusing your efforts on those who resonate most deeply with your brand. By defining your audience and communicating your unique value proposition effectively, you can create a loyal customer base that supports your business's growth and success.

So, dare to demarket. Embrace the polarities. And watch your brand flourish amidst authenticity, clarity, and strategic alignment.