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September 08, 2005


Steve Baty


The economics of niche product areas can be particularly attractive if the problem of short-run production and distribution are resolved. Consumers will place a premium on the product that most closely meets their unique mix of needs, and will pay accordingly.

Whilst 'mainstream' products can become commoditised very quickly, reducing profit margins and politicisng production and distribution, the niche product can maintain higher margins throughout its lifetime.

Mass customisation techniques in manufacturing, communication, and consumer relationship management, can provide both the economy of scale needed to reduce production and distribution costs whilst at the same time more readily identifying and addressing the needs of the individual.

Seems like fertile soil for research and discussion.

Lead on.

Steve 'Doc' Baty
Senior Analyst, Red Square


hello - I just wondered if you had noticed that the Long Tail is now being used in official regulatory consultation submissions to the European Commission for the 'hot topic' that is their review of the Television without Frontiers Directive (summary: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,9071-1690352,00.html)
Anyhow, both Yahoo! Europe & British Telecomm have quoted the Long Tail in their responses to the European Commission's consultation on their proposed direction for the review, check it out at http://europa.eu.int/comm/avpolicy/revision-tvwf2005/2005-contribution.htm

Fred Hapgood

Have you or anyone else explored the
profound long-tailness of international cuisine?

re-engineering education


My only addition would be to suggest you call the industrial age solutions "one size fits most." Far too many needs and desires are left out by bureaucratic decision makers to call it "one size fits all."

Not all reasonable needs of the technologically empowered are met by the emerging Netcohort Society, at least not yet. As understanding of your long tale model grows so will society's individually tailored implementations based on it.


I found this article "The long tail in short". I think is a reblog form HBR Article but its better o give credit to a blog than HRB.


Pankaj Arora

Hi Chris,

Just started reading your groundbreaking work(I am on chapter 4, so i could be overshooting with this idea i am just going to put forth. The proposition would apply only if its contents haven't been considered in your book so far.) Have you considered your 'Long Tail' theory being applicable to a scenario other than business? Pointedly i wanted to mention about my religion which is 'Hinduism'. We don't have one single God that we pray to or worship. Rather we have millions of God whose influence range from a very localized following & belief, to almost a global one. Going through your book & watching a series on India on Nat Geo just made me jump out of my couch & i was sheerly compelled to put this note to you.
Somehow, your books seemed to resound my own ideology which has had a significant influence from the Indian cultural & religious thought process. And, the key word that i found echoed most & shared between these religious teachings & ideas propounded by you is of a 'culture of abundance', where in each one aspires & propagates his efforts to nurture his individuality the most because there in lies the destiny of the highest order. And he is promised a world order of abundance in response to his yearnings (if they are pure in purpose & pursuit).

In short i believe India has long been a cradle of 'Long Tail' in one of the most important aspect of life that is a person's 'religious & spiritual' beliefs.

Hope you find this observation of interest to you.


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The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

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