Thursday, March 25, 2010

Book Reviews: The Long Tail

For decades, the marketplace revolved around strong demand and limited supply. This dynamic translated into the mass experience and the big hit. The long tail - that part of the graph line after the big hit spike, was uneconomical and difficult to pursue. Due to the realities of production and distribution, keeping niche products around was uneconomical.

Well, those days are gone.

Production is much cheaper and there's more supply. New models of distribution (as in one big national Internet store) mean cheaper warehousing - which means an explosion of niche demand. And the development of mass number of differentiated products means people can buy stuff they actually love - instead of settling for the one big hit that everybody liked OK, but few actually loved.

So- capture niche sales and understand that much of the marketplace will become semi-niche.

Of course, the author Chris Anderson goes into more detail, as in more specific company strategies for distribution, structure and pricing. So read the book.

One criticism of the book is that these lessons are valid but may only apply to certain kinds of consumer goods - most obviously media, book, and music products. Whaddaya think? Drop me a line in the comments.

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