Fat Tail Product Placement, So Many Choices!?
A while back I saw the TED talk about the paradox of choice (see video below). A very interesting talk in which the speaker, Barry Schwartz talks about how we the consumers are being bombarded with evermore choices and how this “freedom” is actually impairing our happiness.
Interestingly enough this view is in stark contrast with the current trend of long tail product versioning/marketing. Product (hyper)differentiation is becoming the norm where niche products that appeal to a smaller market share are being pursued for the increased profit margins. In theory this sounds logical but how far will the long tail eventually go? Will we be seeing smartphones with bottle openers in the future? (Actually that’s not even half bad of an idea, patent pending).
The selfie camera
A prime example of this long tail, product differentiated approach is the ‘HTC Desire Eye’, which has been dubbed ‘the selfie’ camera. Sporting not one but two 13 megapixel cameras with dual flitsers in the back as well as the front this phone will cater to even the most advanced self indulged selfie lunatic. However one thing the good folks at HTC have done correctly is making it a good phone in conjunction with the selfie camera. The phone sports a full HD (1920-1080p) screen, 16GB internal storage, optional micro-sd card expansion, Snapdragon 801-soc processor, all in all a nice set of hardware for a relatively low price (€499 at the time of writing this). This phone raises an interesting question namely, is this the future of product differentiation? Catering to one specific customer segment based on a specific preference while still including all the features and hardware that appeals to the ‘fat’ part of the tail (the masses). This, in my opinion is a very interesting development especially if we consider what is discussed in the video. Will this advanced product versioning truly make us, the consumers happier? Or will there be a turning point in which we all as a collective will hope for less?