What algorithm could predicted people would stand in line six hours for a Build-A-Bear promotion?

In every population, there will be people (aka outliers, aka weirdos) who will do just about anything. Three standard deviations out from the mean in a normal distribution might only represent a tiny fraction of the population, but when you have millions of people, you can end up with a long line. The math makes sense at a theoretical level, but doesn’t really help marketers at a practical level. Why does Build-A-Bear trigger the response, but other promotions fail to get more than a handful of people? Understanding the math will only get you so far.

Photo credit: CNN

Read more on the StarTribune: MOA, Rosedale close Build-A-Bear ‘Pay Your Age’ day due to ‘crowd, safety’ concerns

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