Being Present in Re-Tail brought happiness.
I just returned from two weeks in Houston, Texas. I did not have access to the internet outside of a 45-minute walk to the library.
My Dad has late stage Parkinson’s disease. For years I’ve gifted him with brain music CDs and a boombox. For the most part these gifts have stayed in their box.
On this visit I had a mission, to get music into my Dad’s life and out of the box. Mission driven, I uploaded all the CDs to my laptop iTunes. I then took my laptop to the library to get the CD info from Grace on the internet. While at the library I purchased a refurbished 4GB Apple iPod Nano and a 2-year protection plan directly from Apple. When the iPod Nano arrived several days later my dad refused to use the earphones. The lowest volume was megavolumes in his ear.
I consulted with Sam’s son, “I”, a savvy 4G iPod Nano user with an iPod speaker dock. He offered to loan my Dad his Radioshack dock except for when he might need it. Sam’s long tail on the dock reigned in, “cheap, it was no good.” As “I” added his protest to her tail, Sam drove me to the local Target store to purchase some iPod dock speakers. There were quite a few brands or offbrands products on display. The decision to purchase was easy and immediate due to one of the product’s outstanding design and brand reputation, Phillips Powerful Stereo Soundstage.
I had purchased the iPod nano based upon its brand excellence and trust directly from Apple. I purchased the Philips iPod speaker dock based upon its re-tail, its display on the shelves of a Target store, its design excellence.
The design is far out, small, modular, orb-ish. When my mom wanted the volume lowered the speakers could be redirected toward my dad and away from her. Once setup the product sold another brother on the idea of buying an iPod nano for himself, he liked the Phillips’ speaker dock; he was bedazzled.
My curiosity would seek out the Long-Tail when there was available internet access.
I found no pure long tail of consumer opinion, instead there was an economic long tail. At Amazon, third party sellers, with one selling the item for a third of what I paid re-tail. The subsequent links were to craigslist and ebay with even lower sale prices.
I contemplated the purchase already made and enjoyed, the purchased that had enabled my mission to be accomplished. Had I known that I could buy the item for $10 plus $6 shipping would I have purchased the item? No. Had I had internet access I would have been influenced by the economic long tail. I would have perceived the item as not quality, warehouse prices.