What if you gave customers NO choice?

Remember when there was only ONE flavor of Doritos’s?

Those were the days.

Now, you can enjoy any of the following new flavors:

Nacho Cheese, Cool Ranch, Blazin’ Buffalo & Ranch, Fiery Habanero, Natural White Nacho Cheese, Poppin’ Jalapeño, Ranchero, Salsa Verde, Smokin’ Cheddar BBQ, Spicy Nacho, Spicy Squirrel, Toasted Corn, Zesty Taco, Triple Bacon Cheeseburger, Sizzlin’ Picante, Hot Wings & Blue Cheese, Spicy Sweet Chili…

It never ends.

And the sad part is, they all pretty much taste the same.

And, what’s even MORE sad, is that when presented with this many options, customers LITERALLY get tired.

In the April 2008 issue of The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the University of Minnesota’s marketing department conducted a study on choice saturation. Their research determined that …

…the simple act of choosing caused mental fatigue.

“There is a significant shift in the mental programming that is made at the time of choosing,” said Professor Kathleen Vohs, PhD. “While mulling over a few options may weigh heavily on your mind, finally choosing one may just plain wear you out.”

Also, at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a similar 2004 study proved that an overabundance of choices negative affects customers.

“Procter & Gamble would probably be better off if they offered less variety,” suggested Michaela Draganska, assistant professor of Marketing.

A native of Bulgaria, she had her own supermarket epiphany one day while shopping for yogurt.

“It was my first trip to an American grocery store. All I wanted to buy some normal plain yogurt. But after fifteen or twenty minutes looking through all the varieties, I was absolutely exasperated,” she recalls.

“In Bulgaria, life was very simple. You’d go to the store and ask for milk, and there’d be ONE type of milk. And that was that.”

Wow. One type of milk. Imagine that.

LESSON LEARNED: Complexity generates contemplation, and contemplation kills sales.

Because a confused mind never buys.

With an infinite amount of choices, customers don’t just become frustrated; they also don’t buy anything.

This is bad.

And not just for Doritos and milk, either.

So, what about you?

Are you giving your customers too many choices?

The choice is yours.

Er, theirs.

Whatever. My brain hurts.

What if you gave customers NO choice?

For the list called, “12 Dangerous Doozies to Avoid in 2009,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

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