Monday, October 02, 2006

Buying What You Don't Understand

How many times have you come across a product or service that interested you, but you couldn't figure out exactly what to buy? Sometimes companies, in their effort to ensure their products appeal to enough people, offer so many options that no one can figure out what they should buy without investing a lot of time sorting out the complexity.

I recently encountered this problem with an Internet service provider. They offer different bandwidth levels, static or dynamic IP addresses, wired or wireless service, installations on multiple computers, and an "early adopter" option. It was confusing for me to evaluate these options and determine how much they would cost. A friend of mine who received a mailer from them expressed the same confusion.

When marketing or selling your product, complexity is a turn-off for your audience. It makes it difficult for them to buy. Accordingly, I recommend:
  1. Try to minimize the number of packages or options you offer.
  2. Present whatever options you offer in the most straightfoward and simple way possible.
If you have any hesitation in minimizing the number of options, recall the importance of focus, and how much discipline it requires.

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