Decisions, decisions, decisions
In 1925, Gustave Draeger, the son of a Prussian immigrant, opened the doors to “Draeger’s Delicatessen” in San Francisco.
Over the last 90 years, Draegers has become a foodie heaven, offering the highest quality specialist foods in the Bay Area alongside a number of successful cookery schools.
The store is also the central player in one of the most famous experiments in consumer psychology, The Jam Study.
The study was undertaken by psychologists Sheena Iyengar (check her out on Ted Talks) and Mark Lepper who discovered that consumers were 10 times more likely to purchase jam on display when the number of jams available was reduced from 24 to 6.
In short “Less choice, more sales. More choice, fewer sales.”
Most business owners struggle to get their head around the psychology of selling and consumer buying behaviour often believing that the customer simply needs greater choice.
This morning I stopped of for coffee at one of the plethora of coffee shops on the Ormeau Road and at the counter I spotted a display of charity boxes.
7 in total.
Standard shapes, sizes and colours.
So, which one do you go for?
Do you actually have time to assess what the options are?
Or do you neglect all of them?
The paradox of choice means that when it comes to making decisions, consumers, or clients, can be overwhelmed and so either stick to what they know best or simply ignore everything.
In many ways that collection of charity boxes is a metaphor for life as a small business.
If you huddle together with everyone else and adopt similar communications and sales behaviour then you too run the risk of not been seen at all, despite all the brilliant work that you do.
For consumers some choices require minimal effort whilst others are more complex and challenging
If you are unable to communicate exactly what your value is or what makes you “remarkably different” then how can you expect your customers or clients to make any kind of buying decision? The burden is on you, not them.
When it comes to the charity boxes, perhaps both café owner and the respective charities need to question their own tactic and strategies, and whilst both are well intentioned, their individual actions are undoubtedly damaging the fundraising opportunity.
In business it’s important to have confidence in a clearly defined purpose which is aligned to a sales and marketing strategy, setting you apart in your marketplace and allowing your customers to make easier and better informed decisions.
Shift Control is a business growth consultancy based in Belfast and specialising in marketing and brand strategy and sales training.
Follow us on Twitter @shiftcontrol66