Breaking the Shackles of Exclusivity: Why Restricting Your Best Products and Services is Counterintuitive to Business Growth

Chandan Mishra
2 min readApr 10, 2023

It’s interesting how some companies choose to limit their best products and services to only their subscribers. At first, it might seem like a great way to retain customers and generate recurring revenue. But in the long run, it can actually be counterintuitive and hurt the company’s growth.

By restricting access to their best offerings, companies are essentially limiting their potential market. They’re preventing new customers from trying out their product or service and possibly becoming loyal customers in the future. And even existing subscribers might not be happy with the limited options and could end up canceling their subscriptions and looking for alternatives.

But the negative impact doesn’t end there. Restricting the best offerings can also mean missed opportunities for revenue and growth. If the company made these products or services available to a wider audience, it could potentially generate more revenue and attract new customers who might eventually become subscribers.

In today’s fast-changing business environment, it’s critical for companies to continuously innovate and adapt to stay competitive. By restricting access to their best offerings, companies could be limiting their potential for growth and success. So it’s really important for them to think carefully about their subscription models and make sure they’re not unintentionally hindering their own growth potential.

It’s fascinating to see how companies make strategic choices that can have a profound impact on their success. One such example is Blockbuster’s decision to ignore the rise of streaming services like Netflix.

As someone who grew up visiting Blockbuster stores and renting DVDs, it’s hard to imagine a time when streaming services didn’t exist. But instead of adapting to the changing landscape of the industry, Blockbuster chose to stick with its traditional business model, and it eventually led to its downfall.

Similarly, Apple’s decision to limit the availability of their products to their own stores and website initially created a sense of exclusivity around the brand. Though they had these issues multiple times and multiple products, sooner or later they woke up and take corrective action. You remember iTunes was not available to Windows initially and they fixed it.

In the music industry, there have been instances where companies restricted access to their content, only to realize later that they were hindering their own growth potential. One such example is the copyright holder’s decision to block a blog referencing the popular song. This may have seemed like a way to protect their intellectual property, but in reality, it prevented the song from reaching a wider audience and gaining more popularity.

On the other hand, companies like Jio Cinema have taken a more customer-centric approach by making their content available to as many people as possible. As a fan of the Indian Premier League, I was thrilled to learn that Jio was offering it for free on all networks. By doing so, they not only attracted a larger audience but also provided a better customer experience by making the content more accessible.

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Chandan Mishra

Marketing Strategy and growth Consultant with various Companies.