The Why #04: Why do I keep ordering the same damn burrito?

Hardhat
Hardhat
Sep 10 · 3 min read

Dan Monheit 11.9.20

“Why do I keep ordering the same damn burrito?” From Adam, Bondi

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Yes Adam, why do you keep ordering the same damn burrito? I’m sure it’s delicious and all, but variety is the spice of life, and the explosion in food delivery apps has made munching your way through all that variety easier than ever.

Conventional wisdom suggests that we love choice. The more options the better.

Choice makes us feel powerful and in control. Choice — and the power of the individual to choose — are at the core of our modern, democratic, capitalist society.

And as marketers and agency folk, we are the navy seals of capitalism; the elite group of men and women dedicating our lives to creating more options for more people in more categories.

Unfortunately, most of our efforts are in vain.

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The Choice Paradox was beautifully demonstrated in the famous ‘Jam Study’ of 2000, in which psychologists Iyengar and Lepper tested the impact of choice on conversion.

On back-to-back weekends, they set up a display table at a fancy supermarket, offering shoppers a range of jams to sample and purchase. On the first weekend, six varieties of jams were available. On the second weekend, there were 24. While the 24 options attracted 50% more interest and sampling, the table with six varieties converted ten times better when it came time to purchase.

Less choice. More sales.

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Behaviourally Yours,

Dan Monheit

PS. If you missed last week’s, you can still find out why cans of Coke, Diet Coke and Coke Zero suddenly all look the same here.

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Bad Decisions Podcast
Learn more about the Choice Paradox and how brands can use it on episode 3 of the Bad Decisions Podcast.

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Got a question?
Is there something you’ve always wondered about?
Send it through to AskDan@hardhat.com.au

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Want more?
Check out Dan’s short write up on the three behaviours retailers must factor in to reach consumers post-lockdown.

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