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The Long Dilbert Tail - Scott Adams' Blog

The Long Dilbert Tail

You’re probably aware of the Long Tail concept. The idea is that technology makes it economical for companies to sell items for which there are only a handful of buyers in the known universe. The trick is to sell lots of different items to lots of different buyers. And if those items are manufactured with special features for each buyer, it’s called mass customization.

The new Dilbert Store is a good example of both the long tail and mass customization. You can search for any Dilbert comic ever made, find the one that speaks to your own bizarre sensibilities, and in a few days a package arrives at your door with that comic on a coffee cup, or water bottle, whatever. This solved a big problem for us because if you asked a hundred people what was their favorite Dilbert comic, you’d get about hundred different answers. It isn’t practical for us to guess which comics would be most popular.

Now a similar thing is happening with price and co-branding. We’re starting a test of corporate discounts at The Dilbert store so that you and your co-workers can, if you play your cards right, pay 20% less than the cubeless masses, in return for some exposure within your company.

If the test works out, we’ll expand it to include co-branded products and other company focused offers. For example, suppose your company wants to internally promote network security, or disaster recovery, or safety, or some other message. The appropriate department could order Dilbert goods that include your company logo and the on-topic Dilbert comic, all for 20% off. If you play your cards right, that means “free shirt” for you.

If you want to get in on the 20% off test, send an email to dilbert@ordering.com with “corporate discount program” in the subject.  Include the contact info of the person at your company that handles this sort of thing.