Choice

The average American makes up to 70 choices per day. Choice is a fundamental part of life. While freedom is all about having options and choosing for yourself, too much choice can be a bad thing, particularly when it comes to your product.

In 2000, Sheena Iyengar set up an experiment in a high-end supermarket to see how consumers respond to too much choice. Iyengar put a selection of jams on display and invited shoppers to take free samples. On the first day, Iyengar had six types of jam, and on the second day she had 24 flavors of jam. While more people visited the 24 flavor stall, they were far less likely to actually make a decision and buy any of the jams. Though less people in total visited the six-flavor display, those that did actually followed through with a purchase.

When we’re bombarded with too many options we become frozen and less likely to make a decision. Barry Schwartz calls this the ‘paradox of choice’, or ‘choice paralysis’. Too many options make consumers more likely to walk away empty-handed. Even if they do follow through with purchasing, the initial large selection has been shown to make them feel less satisfied with their decision, and as a result they become less likely to buy from that brand in the future.

Rebel entrepreneurs don’t put their energy into releasing a line of indistinguishable products. Instead, they focus on getting the quality right in one product. If you can’t tell the difference between your products then your customers won’t be able to either. Rebel entrepreneurs understand the value of simplicity. They don’t bombard their consumers with choice. They make it easy for them and craft a high quality product that customers can engage with from the start.

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