Are you offering too much choice!

One thing I have noticed during my 6+ years in business is the growth of the “And” business“. An “And” business is one where you ask someone what they do and they begin reciting a never ending list of often non-related (non-complimentary) activities punctuated by the word “and”.  

Not everyone is your target market!

So what are the reasons behind people wanting to offer or do everything? One reason….money. They think that they can reach more customers and make more money by offering more services. But let’s take things back to basics here, and remember that everyone is not your target market. Research will tell you who your customers are and with this marketing nugget you are able to design your service to meet the needs of your customers, effectively putting them first rather than your long list of “me, me, me” reminders.

Too much choice can be counter-productive

And whilst many of you are probably nodding your heads in agreement that these “And” business protagonists are infuriating, frustrating and over the top, I want to convey a more serious point here. And that is that giving customers too much choice can be counter-productive.

Some people probably think that you can’t have too much choice, well I would disagree.  And so does Guy Kawasaki who said:

“When you give people too many choices, it makes them hesitate and not buy stuff”.

Are you damaging your brand?

So why from a marketing perspective is too much choice dangerous for your brand?  Essentially offering too many options causes:

  • Customer confusion
  • A lack of business focus
  • Stress and anxiety (customers are time poor)
  • Diminished levels of satisfaction
  • Customers to make bad decisions
  • A dilution of your brand message meaning customers move away from your USP’s
  • Marketing to be spread too thinly
  • Activities and campaigns to become more costly but less effective


So my suggestion for businesses is to KISS (keep it simple stupid). And instead of trying to market and sell 7+ different services, follow my easy three step strategy:

1.       Focus on the one thing that you do the best, or the one that is the most unique (or niche) or the one you enjoy the most.

2.       Make that your main service offering and get clients to testify to the quality and effectiveness of this service and the positive nature of their experience.

3.       To increase its attractiveness, wrap it up with a maximum of 1-2 other services that actively complement it.

Limit choice, add value

It is more important to be of value than to be successful and here I want to use the Tesco example. A few years ago in response to the growing market shares of Aldi and Lidl, Tesco decided to scrap 30,000 of the 90,000 products they stocked in an average store. At this time they offered 28 different types of tomato ketchups – Aldi had 1 and 224 kinds of air fresheners - Aldi had 12. Once they had undertaken this exercise, their sales started to increase as customers could effectively “see the wood for the trees”.

So next time you are brain storming product/service additions or brand extensions, think carefully because unlike Robinsons and their line of fruit squashes, “dilute for best results” does not work for your message, your marketing, your brand or your business.

For help in marketing your core capabilities for better results, contact Vicky at Fuel on 07766 566690 or email