Cutting to the quick of choice
Recent research by the Henley Centre and Future Foundation, have gone some way to answering some of John’s questions on choice. There is far too much around. 72% of people say an abundance of choice is making life complex and look for ways to ‘cut through the noise’ and cope with it.
Do we really need the huge variety of margarines confronting us at the supermarkets – you have to pace whole aisles just to view the choice. Choosing a car is no better, only you drive around city suburbs. Want a laptop, stockings, light bulb, mortgage, mobile phone everywhere we are confronted by too much choice.
To cut to the quick of choice we resort to price (rational) and reputation (emotional).
Price elasticity has gone up twofold between 1980 and 2000, demand is now much more likely to shift with price if no other value is perceived.
To improve reputation and word of mouth, public relations, recommendations, referrals, CSR, relationship and experience management are taking up far more company time and resource than ever before.
The other market answer to choice is intermediaries – brokers, the media, independent advisors and guides. Information hubs, network platforms, buyer centricity. All seek to provide a guiding light.
Choice is not going to go away, its a fundermental of business, the result of over supply and greater diversity of need. To avoid commodity pricing organizations do need to recognize the dynamics of choice and:-
Have a strategy – at least you will know when to say no Manage their reputations and relationships – ‘no man was ever written out of reputation but by himself’ (Bentley) Ensure they deliver value – give customers (and stakeholders) a good experience Build collaboration into the market supply chain – think Amazon, lastminute.com, IFA’s.