Title: Long tail vs. blockbusters - a data-driven approach

Authors: C. Ranjani; Anita Kumar

Addresses: Amity Business School, F – 3 Block, Amity University Campus, Sector – 125, Noida – 201 303, Gautam Budh Nagar, U.P., India ' Amity Business School, F – 3 Block, Amity University Campus, Sector – 125, Noida – 201 303, Gautam Budh Nagar, U.P., India

Abstract: Business revenue generation can be typically represented as a power law distribution curve where the head of the distribution represents the 'blockbusters' (maximum revenue generation) and a 'tail' that represents products that account for a small percentage of total revenue. Traditionally, brick-and-mortar businesses have allocated their sizeable resources and attention to the blockbusters and have largely ignored the tail. In the present internet-driven era and markets, the concept of 'long tail' has emerged that, effectively demonstrates that companies can make the products, in the niche segment, profitable as well however, in practice, this concept is still limited to the digital products marketed online, and in the academic literature, this concept has received little attention. The aim of this paper is to highlight the relevance and importance of a data-driven strategy to manage both the 'blockbusters' and 'long tail', through illustrative cases drawn from the Indian SME food sector. It, then, proposes a conceptual framework that the practitioners can utilise effectively to make informed decisions, driven by data, to maintain a wide product portfolio.

Keywords: blockbusters; long tail; business analytics; decision making; India; food SMEs; revenue generation; power law distribution; product portfolio; small and medium-sized enterprises; food industry.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBSR.2017.080844

International Journal of Business and Systems Research, 2017 Vol.11 No.1/2, pp.118 - 138

Received: 03 Jun 2015
Accepted: 13 Dec 2015

Published online: 09 Nov 2016 *

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