I have a love/hate relationship with shopping. Unlike common notions of a female reveling in hours of aimless wandering, I’m the type of shopper who likes to get what I want and then get out. Quickly.
The choices can be overwhelming. From jeans to toothpaste, beauty products and even cars, there are times when it all becomes too hard.
I understand choice is valued as one of our basic human rights, but too much choice seems to be doing us an injustice. It reminds me of that infamous jam study, which questions the satisfaction people found in their decision making abilities when presented to many vs. limited options.
The perception that there are never-ending options seems to both hinder and empower us. Think of dating, careers, houses, mobile phones, mobile phone plans and even varieties of tinned tomatoes. With so many options, loyalty has become the premium. Yet, does anyone want to commit these days when you can always try something new?
I think this is why branding can be such an effective marketing tool. It simplifies the decision making process so instead of looking at a product’s attributes, you merely go for something familiar, whether it fits what you want or not quite…
I wonder if there will come a time when consumers will prefer a simplified experience, when we’ll rebel against all of these choices.
I’m not sure how, but I’m definitely entertained by the notion.