Consumer Hate Choices” topic may seemingly defy popular logic. As we see most of us seems to love to have choice, one has a favorite color, taste and preference. And most of us would like to indulge on the with an option to select favorites.
What you will do? Go for a Brand/company that offer various options or a brand/company that offers selected few. I guess most of us will start with plenty and stop at a Brand which fulfills all the need of all level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Why do I say so, Read on and may be contest by dropping comments.
Today We live in era of plenty. As a consumer we have plethora to choose from. We have option to buy a small car, family car, SUV, sports, Luxury car and this goes on and on. It is prevalent not only in Automotive but in computers, gadgets etc or in any other industry. Consider this the personal navigation product manufacturer TomTom has over 50 model to suit the taste and needs of consumer.
The fear of competition and lose of market share has compelled manufacturers to launch multiple variants of same product, new product models with huge breadth and depth of product mix. These products are launched with the motive of offering differentiations and give price points that take care of needs, wants and desire of the consumer.
But in this mileu, where time is a scarce comodity, these choices increases the pressure and give the feeling to the consumer of being overwhelmed. He/she is confused to the whole of proposition of value and is not able to comprehend in the complex complicated world created by barge of messages from marketing folks. Marketers have to carefully balance choices and value add in each of the choice it provides to the consumer.
The notion that more choices gives freedom to the consumer to decide and have say in defining the market in a more democratic way may also be incorrect. As Barry Schwartz in his book Paradox of Choice: Why more is less points this feeling of liberation may also lead to the paralysis of attempt. This also raise the expectations of the consumer to unexpected level and it leads to dissatisfaction when either product lines are not able to meet the expectation or after the enagagement is over dissatifaction may creep over of being left over by new launches.
This is also true in a more affluent societies people do prefer to have more choices, however on the opposite the same consumer tend to justify their selection. He may not make best choice as he may be confused, does not have right information or may not have the time to do the whole of exercise of product comparison. He also be influenced by style, fad and fashion at that time.
I guess in this fast moving world the consumer will now have choices of tools for making choices. The companies like pricerunner.com, nexttag.com, google.com/products are some examples of the same. More importantly there is a need to define and direct to choice which are in tune to ethical practices and in tune to correct emotional needs of consumer is an important task of marketeer. (No, I am not planning to take ethical discourse in this post). Some the companies are also handling this as always to offer or appear to offer a wide range of choices to first attract consumers’ attention and then narrow down their set of possible alternatives. There can be many more and I did love to hear them all.