As a consumer you may think that you value being offered variety of choices. What we really want most is stability, consistency and congruence in the variety of choices. Where this comes in handy is when you are subjected to commercials and vigorous sales discussions with organizations that you have never done business with before – beware of the razzle-dazzle of seemingly infinite options.
Think of your favorite burger joint (cheesesteaks and hoagies here in Philly) and ponder why you like to come back. I am certain that most places are loaded with a variety of choices that you were attracted to.
Once you are hooked, and you have found the one to a few items you really like, your brain flips over to the other side of variety: Now you want the same thing all over again. That becomes the reason why you want to come back. You can count on getting the same responses of your taste buds and you feel good about food and the place.
It works like a charm. We have become fans of a small but fabulous burger place called Cheeburger Cheeburger and a small cheese steak place called PJ’s. On a broad scale this has worked for any big food chain that you can shake a stick at just the same as it does for any other brand.
You think you want variety, but what you really value is consistency and predictability. It applies to just about any product and service you need and want. Make good use of this knowledge if you happen to own a business. In case you are an unsuspecting consumer, stop wondering why you are buying a $4 to $7 coffee at Starbucks. Do not get baited by options. Look for tangible value and congruence of a brand.