Cavity protection? Fluoride Tartar Control? Anticavity Gel? Fluoride Free? Advanced Whitening? Peroxide Tartar Control? Enamel Care? Antibacterial with Calcium? Herbal? Sensitive? Low Abrasion? Stain Removal? …
And all you wanted was a tube of toothpaste. Of course it’s not just toothpaste. A shopping survey in a USA mall showed three dozen smartphones on display, each with around 30 phone faces available and about 20 payment plans to choose from – making a total of over 20,000 different options from which to choose. By the time every option might have been considered, you can bet your life the phone would be obsolete.
In today’s rich western society the abundance of choice available to us is overwhelming. Conventionally, greater choice would be considered beneficial to the consumer but there’s evidence to suggest that the consumer is ill-equipped to make decisions when faced with such an increasing number of options, and having to make them leads to confusion, misery and in severe cases, even clinical depression.
This state of lingering discontent is particularly likely if the consumer in question would be regarded by classical economists as a ‘maximiser’ – that is, someone who insists on devoting much time and effort to search out only the very best when making their selection. Just good enough is not good enough for maximisers. Because there is such an increasing array of products, services and financial deals from which to choose, with each and every option boasting their offering as best, many of us are driven into becoming maximisers. But we don’t have the time nowadays to consider every option. And most of us hate making choices, because the wrong choice leads to regret, so we become frozen by indecision and prone to depression.
It’s been suggested that society would be more content if we were to resist overwhelming choice and become what economists call ‘satisficers’ – that is, someone who’s easily satisfied providing their basic standards are met. Satisficers don’t waste their time researching the options in search of perfection, they’re more likely to be content with their lot.
The dynamic internet-driven marketplace continues to confront consumers with more and more products and services from which to choose. And paradoxically, increasing consumer empowerment to easily and instantly shift allegiance in turn pressurises competitive sellers to respond with better deals, and new or improved products.
This accelerating spiral of bewildering choice is leading consumers to follow the lead of many companies in recent years, and outsource – in their case, to outsource choice. For them, freedom of choice means being free not to choose. They’re employing the services of ‘experts’ such as interior designers or financial advisers who remove, or at least greatly reduce the number of choices they have to make. These experts offer a personalised service which, of course, doesn’t come cheap. But there’s also a free option available to consumers – that is to put themselves in the hands of ‘the brand’.
It’s well recognised that through creative marketing communications preferred brands forge an emotional bond with the consumer, creating brand preference and retaining brand loyalty, thereby reassuring consumers and making it easier for them to make a choice. With consumers looking to brands as an escape route from a multiplicity of choices, brand owners should be making the most of the opportunity.
Building brands through strategic insight, creative concepts & direction, copywriting.
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