A lot of us keep struggling to be popular. If only everyone knew about us, we would be loved by everyone and it would be great! Popular is not the only approach, and thanks to the new climate of the world, unpopular things are even more desired and accessible. We can be unpopular and cash in big.
Amazon is built on the long tail principle. While major retail stores only have shelf space for the most wanted items, Amazon can sell things so specific that only a few people want them without great expense. This is the power of a global economy and an inexpensive internet.
“The Long Tail” is based on this graph…
While old style stores needed to focus on only stocking the popular stuff (eg: size 9 shoes), there is much much much more unpopular stuff in the world (eg: size 19 narrow shoes).
Not just Amazon.
The whole internet is growing to make niche things more available to the people who want them. That means we don’t need to be defined in broad categories, we don’t need to be for everyone. We can serve one person in each country in the world and have 195 clients.
As we serve our niche more specifically, the value to that niche inflates. If I make a crossword puzzle book for most people, I could sell it in the supermarket checkout line for 99¢. If I make one for trilingual English, Spanish, Mandarin speakers; I could probably sell it for $40. In the olden days, we couldn’t find those rare people. Now, there are more of them and we can target them with ads.