the Long Tail, iTunes and the Reprographics Industry

the Long Tail, iTunes and the Reprographics Industry

As our industry moves to selling less of more, complexity follows as communication channels intertwine, quality flaws are exposed and customer service is tested. Ironically, our customers are experiencing a similar dilemma. The race is to become “the source” for solutions within the construction industry. Those that can create a web-based portal to provide these solutions will win the prize.

“The Reprographics industry is currently experiencing what the music industry faced ten years ago with Napster. Products flow free in a confusing marketplace waiting for someone to establish an iTunes-like portal. Whoever can offer an easy-to-use, customizable, hip and psychological liberating solution will dominate the marketplace.”

I’ve prepared an illustration to demonstrate the how important establishing “the portal” is, and how The Long Tail theory can help us understand the marketplace we compete. I believe the music industry is a foreshadowing indicator for what we can expect in the Reprographic industry.

The phrase The Long Tail was first coined by Chris Anderson in a 2004 article in Wired magazine to describe certain business and economic models such as Amazon.com or Netflix. “The Long Tail” defines the current shift from selling large volume of smaller quantities to selling a much wider variety of products sold in low quantities. The low-quantity items stretch out on the x-axis of the graph, creating a very long tail that generates more revenue overall. John Cronin’s blog tipped me off to this book.

Now is the time to seize the opportunity to establish an “iTunes” like portal that is I will specifically detail how I think Thomas Reprograhpics can position itself as an industry leader in work flow processes, efficiency, marketing, sales methodology, innovation, quality, and most important — unparalleled customer service.

Email me at curtist@thomasrepro.com for the color illustration of this post.