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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Keeping health and healthy lifestyle branding and marketing simple

As health and healthy lifestyle brand owners, you should be doing what you can to reduce consumers' stress levels. In a marketplace filled with too much choice (both product and media), too much information (often conflicting) and too much similarity, simpler is smarter. Today, complexity requires simplicity.

From a consumer perspective, we tend to shut down when faced with too many choices. We say we want choice, but not too much. Dr. Susan Broniaczyk, from University of Texas states in her paper “the deleterious effects of living in consumer hyperchoice", when consumers face a large selection of items, they have to process a large amount of information, which can cause problems. People worry so much about buying the wrong item that they may opt out of the whole arduous decision-making process by not buying anything at all. Or, when they do buy something, foregone options linger in memory, causing post-purchase regret.

For brand owners, adapting a mantra of simplicity (of being all about your customers) translates to:

• Your brands ability to make people feel better and contribute to making their lives better. Which starts by making it simple for them to choose what they want (e.g. Amazon).

• A simple and delightful experience (in a world where many are not). Making airline reservations and trying to rent a car typically are not. Zappos and Pret A Manger are.

• The ability to put resources behind brands that will generate the strongest results. Which goes back to making it simpler for people to navigate your offerings. By paring back your portfolio to those brands that are most on trend and that represent the lions share of current and potential future revenues and reputation, you're not only taking costs out of the system, but you have more horsepower to put behind those brands.

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