Which option shall you take? It is your choice.

Choice is the process of deciding between options. Many people think that having choices is a positive thing since it gives you a feeling of control. Yet, choices can be confusing or frightening.

If you have too many choices it can be daunting. What if you choose the wrong the option? Will you regret not taking one of the other options? Too many options can confuse or even paralyze a decision maker. Consumer products makers know this and try to eliminate buyer confusion by bundling features into a product. Japanese auto makers sell cars with many standard features such as leather interior or air conditioning.

When your choices are limited or you have to choose between unattractive options, you may feel frightened or angry. Despite having a choice you may not like either, which makes you feel out of control. An employee working for a failing firm might have to choose between a demotion or a severance package—neither option may sound good.

The question becomes how do you make the right choice? One way to choose is to evaluate the merits or attributes of the options. Most options have positive and negative attributes. This analytical approach is appropriate for the customer with time and resources. A purchasing manager will create a spreadsheet that compares product features and pricing from vendors participating in a bid.

Some buyers are intuitive and make the decision based on past experience and by feel. When you are in a restaurant and need to choose between fish or fowl, there is little time to analyze the options. Since you got sick on the fish last time, tonight it will be the chicken. The decision is made quickly.

For the marketer, the challenge is to provide as much choice as the buyer needs without confusing them or making them feel trapped. The choice is up to you.

John Bradley Jackson
© Copyright 2009 All rights reserved.

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