Provide Choice, Limit Choice

Burger King is an epitome of a successful corporation which have succeeded by offering their customers a wild variety of choices.  For over 40 years, their slogan have revolved around a business that acknowledges that while they are king, the customer is the ultimate boss.  Their battlecry or slogan have revolved from ” Have it Your Way”, “You’re the Boss”, “Your way, Right Away”.

When you go to a well stacked supermarket, you will be bombarded by an array of choices.  I know a store who advertises that they have at least 65 different flavors of mustard, and over 100 selections of ice cream.  There used to be just vanilla and chocolate.  Now we are bombarded by such esoteric flavors as bacon, wasabi, or cheese burger flavored ice creams.

Is providing a too wide variety of choice really the only option?  Not really. Look at Apple.  It has become the world’s most valuable company.  When you look at its product line, you would be awed by its simplicity. Their computers are normally just a mix of four selections based on two choices.  A model can either be entry level or professional, or it can be consumer or business.

When you buy an IPad, normally there is only one choice you have to make – how much built in memory you want.  Steve Jobs, the iconic founder and former CEO used to say that the consumer will never be able to tell you what they want, and it is part of our job to help them make the selection easier. 

They make the product not only simple to use, but also simple to choose, oftentimes by limiting choice.  As a result, Apple stores scores highest in most dollars sold per square meter of store space.  

What about your business?  Do you make available a good variety of choices, or do you make the choices for your customer?

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