I bet you can name every variant of Chipotle’s menu; I bet you feel that “YOUR” variant is custom, unique, and entirely yours.
Chipotle has grown to be one of the largest restaurants in the U.S. by offering four options to their hungry customers: bowl, burrito, tacos, or salad. In a sense, they serve highly customizable food that comes in only four variations.
The supreme success of Chipotle demonstrates to digital marketers that, although human choice is fundamentally a positive good, consumer choice is not. The Harvard Business Review wrote, “Research now shows that there can be too much choice; when there is, consumers are less likely to buy anything at all, and if they do buy, they are less satisfied with their selection.”
20 years of digital marketing campaigns and over 2,500 custom website design projects later, we have found that reducing choice allows the consumer to not only think less, but it allows your company to focus more.
Focus is finite and zero-sum.
McDonald’s has 145 menu choices, but only 3 of those choices account for nearly 47% of all their sales; Chipotle has 4. McDonald’s may be the larger corporation but it doesn’t have the same following—the same dedication and backing—that Chipotle currently carries.
If you have dollar-menu business goals, where convenience and speed trumps connection and quality, look at McDonald’s; if, however, you want your customers to riot on your behalf and stick with you through thick and thin, look at Chipotle.
Chipotle empowers their customers by giving them little choice. They allow their customers to enjoy an expertly crafted and unique meal with friends and family instead of standing in line staring at the menu board.
Common-sensical Digital marketing is no different. If our marketing forces potential customers to stand and think, we will lose them. If, on the other hand, our marketing ushers them to a buying decision, we create a meaningful and long-lasting connection.
Limiting choice is just one of the tactics used in digital marketing to create this connection—it allows consumers to be more than shoppers but customers.
Does your business foster lines or connection? Choice or purchase? If you need help, give us a call! We have helped thousands of companies over the past 20 years clarify and boost heir brand and connect with their customers.