When did consumers get so picky?

When did consumers
get so picky?


With ever increasing variety and easier access to products and services, choice is now a birth right. But with choice, like power, comes great responsibility and that power is now in the hands of the consumer. The responsibility however is firmly with the brands to provide quality over quantity.

There have been many studies around the psychology of choice, a little choice can go a long way to give consumers options and comparisons, but give too many that are too similar and buyers become more cautious and the process is stifled. 

So this plethora of choice has made abundance a burden, purchase is now much more complex for consumers, this is especially true online as they navigate a brave new world of search, research and influence. 

The modern consumer is numbed by distraction as the route to purchase is infiltrated by the desire to collate and compare information to narrow down this variety.

The ease at which this information is retrieved stops the decision being immediate and impulse buys are replaced with carefully researched information gathering from reviews, social media and product descriptions. This is where trust is paramount, trust no longer comes from an advertising poster with a well written copy line, it comes from the consumer and this is where the power shift will remain.

Consumers are much more savvy to authenticity and look to qualify their purchases with an added layer of endorsement, this is when not only reviews and testimonials count but also the inherent brand belief. This belief can be from a positive past experience or from the brand itself pushing a believable and consistent message out on all channels.

So what does this all mean for a brand looking to reach a bigger market share? Two things really, brand extensions if a considered and good fit with other products can help elevate the portfolio by bringing a sense of confidence and newness in the parent brand. However if the brand image isn’t strong and the extension doesn’t feel authentic, or of the same quality, this addition can bring a negative impact and dilute and damage the current range. Secondly, the belief factor needs to be dialled up, create the deep rooted belief in the brand with an authentic brand story backed up with advocacy from ‘fans’ and this will instil trust and an edge over competitors.

We know that consumers research brands before making decisions, so the same has to be done by brands into their audience, time and money spent here will pay dividends in the future. Audience research is not new, but the tools and the level of data and insight that is now available give brands using it a unique window into the motivations driving decisions. 

When is comes to creating choice for the modern shopper, it’s much more effective to give consumers what you know they want rather than what you think they need.

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