Out of Orbit: A Brand Named Desire


My wife Beth loves Orbit cinnamon gum. Or I should say, she loved Orbit cinnamon gum. Because Orbit cinnamon has been discontinued.

Beth is unhappy about that. If you could heard her tell it, Orbit was the best cinnamon gum that had ever been invented.

To be truthful, Orbit cinnamon is available. It’s just not available in stores. You can still buy it online. On eBay. But it’s not $1.49 like it used to be. It costs $83.00. A pack. Or just under $6.00 a stick. And that’s for sticks that are 6 months past their “use by” date.

Scarcity is a strong motivator in triggering desire. Countless website sales pages use countdown timers. “Only 12 hours before the price goes up”. In-stock numbers work, too. “Only 2 left!” You can almost hear the mouses clicking.

Wrigley, the makers of Orbit, are missing out on every marketers dream. When the pent-up desire for your product has reached the level that a single stick of gum costs $6.00, you do two things. You tell the world the story about the lengths people are going to get the best cinnamon gum ever invented, the gum that only you make.

And then you start selling it again.