Negotiating Consumer Choice.

Consumers have a wide selection of choice when it comes to goods and services today, but is it what they really want? Many studies indicate when faced with so many options, humans become confused and indecisive. Could our world of growing consumer goods be adding to peoples already stressful lives?

In Mark Rhodes new book, “How to talk to absolutely anyone”, Mark suggests that people prefer fewer choices rather than more. In fact, in a lot of cases two or three choices would appear to be enough. Any more than this and the brain tends to go into overload.

So why is it that so many choices exist in todays consumer market? Are producers and retailers trying to confuse potential customers, or is it a case of “he who shouts louder will be heard” as marketing campaigns and packaging would suggest?

Now don’t get me wrong, choice is a fabulous thing, but like a lot of pleasures in life, perhaps it is better in moderation. In a world where we are stimulated more than any other time in our history, choice would seem to be “another log on the fire”.

So why do people choose certain products or services over another? Think tanks and marketing groups continue to ponder this question on a daily basis, pouring millions of dollars into research. Is the question really that difficult to answer?

From my own perspective, I choose the product or service that makes me the happiest. Sounds simple right? Not really, when you consider the product or service is not the only thing you are buying. Let’s take a coffee for example.

Every morning when arriving in town before I start work, I like to purchase a cappuccino, sit down and catch up on my emails. When it comes to coffee I don’t like to compromise, especially in the morning since it will affect my whole daily outlook. So what do I look for when buying a coffee?

Well firstly, the coffee must taste fantastic. If the flavour is positively memorable, then my need for a great taste is met. Secondly, It must look good, just the right balance of froth, milk, and chocolate – that’s my sight satisfied. Thirdly it must smell magical and send my sense of smell on an aromatic journey to wonderland.

So is it all about the cup of coffee? One of the other key factors that also plays into my decision making is the way the product is delivered and the environment in which it is consumed. If the person who is serving me is friendly and cheerful there is a high chance the coffee will taste absolutely incredible. Equally, if the environment is well kept, welcoming and the other patrons have a positive vibe about them, I will want to return to repeat the experience.

When it comes to choice, consumers will always choose that which makes them feel happy. It is equally important businesses recognise that it is not just the product responsible for this, but rather it is the delivery and attitude with which it is dispatched. So what influences your choices?

Negotiating Consumer Choice.

Nick Griffin

Hobart, Australia

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Consumers have a wide selection of choice when it comes to goods and services today, but is it what they really want?

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