Wednesday, September 07, 2005

When more is not good...

Aha, I had written on Lifebuoy on why variety in Lifebuoy is quite confusing and heres some new research to support my intuition (!).

Found this on Businesspundit, where Rob points to research at Harvard on this counter intuitive idea.

...Traditional wisdom teaches that brands win market share by offering a wide variety of products, increasing the chance of appealing to a wider variety of customers. But how happy are you when trying to find a head cold remedy at the pharmacy amid an overwhelming number of competing formulas, each slightly different than the other? It's enough to give a shopper, well, a headache.

The belief that variety is good "is not always true," argues Harvard Business School professor John Gourville in "Overchoice and Assortment Type: When and Why Variety Backfires." The research paper, co-written by professor Dilip Soman of the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, demonstrates that sometimes offering too many choices prompts the confused consumer to defer a purchase or run to the arms of a competitor with a less cluttered product line.

Wonder if HLL brand gurus have read this one.

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