Putting some fizz into the long tail
One of the key books on modern marketing is The Long Tail by Chris Anderson, released in 2006 and recently republished in an extended edition. In it, Anderson describes how the internet has helped businesses find success by occupying increasingly small niches. Instead of selling a handful of mainstream items, Anderson points to retailers like Amazon, selling massive levels of low demand items.
Targeting high volumes of niche items frees up a business from competing over price with identically stocked retailers and the internet allows each niche item to find a market.
I came across this YouTube video today that perfectly illustrates how applying the long tail to your business is a powerful strategy. Why sell Coke and Pepsi when you can sell the widest selection of the best soda drinks from around the world? It is no coincidence that he has a website aimed at soda connoisseurs from around the United States.
(The video is 13 minutes long, but it’s worth it).
Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, consumer choice was dictated by what our local megastores would sell us and how much of their shelf space the biggest brands would secure. It is now possible to get out from underneath the major brands and provide unique propositions for your customers that not only attract more sales but build higher levels of consumer loyalty.