There are some amazing entrepreneurs in Montreal and Papeterie Saint-Armand, featured in the Montreal Gazette this morning, is one of the most remarkable. David Carruthers is its owner and his commercial paper mill is the only one of its kind in Canada and one of the few to be found in the G8 countries. He is continuing a family tradition. It started with his grandfather, George Carruthers, a paper-mill owner, perhaps best known for his book on the history of papermaking in Canada. As you might expect, this is not just any paper. This is handmade paper coveted by artists and aesthetes.
What is intriguing is that David Carruthers avoids large and indiscriminate marketplaces. Indeed he may give up large trade shows. As he says, “You have to stand out from the crowd and that costs a lot.” That’s true if you’re trying for mass markets, but that isn’t where you’ll find David Carruthers’ customers. They’re really on the long tail.
The long tail is a term invented by Chris Anderson. It’s completely the reverse idea to the Pareto Principle. Indeed it probably deserves to be named the long tail principle. It says that in many markets a considerable proportion of the market is not to be found in any mass market grouping. Rather the market is made up of a huge number of microniches. Each one is different but by astute marketing you can tap in to many of them. The Internet is a suitable medium for doing so. One valuable aid here are the various search engines. If the entrepreneur is visible to Google for appropriate keywords, then individuals in these various microniches may well find him or her.
Papeterie Saint-Armand sounds an ideal company for that approach. We wish them all success.
Related Book by Chris Anderson:
Long Tail, The, Revised and Updated Edition:
Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More
Tag: long tail