I’m dusting off a post I wrote five years ago as the concept and idea still remain true in today’s business climate. Today’s consumer is faced daily with an abundance of options — which, on the surface, is a positive. More options. More choice. Win-win, right? However, despite the technological advancements that have allowed for greater ease of access, when it comes to running a business, the adage “Less is More” becomes even more relevant.
I’m a firm believe in the Paradox of Choice concept that asserts too much choice actually increases consumer anxiety. As marketers, we’re constantly looking for the next “big idea” which often results in the creation of new. When we have discussions centered around the next iteration of “X” our assumption is to add instead of reduce. Again, we believe that giving customers more options is better.
The article I wrote five years ago focused on disruption and innovation and used my experience at Great Clips as a case-study. During time, I helped launch Online Check-In, which allows customers to check wait times are nearby salons and add their name to the salon’s wait list. On the surface, this product launch doesn’t appear to jump out as innovative or disruptive — after all, appointments, in the beauty industry nonetheless, wasn’t a new concept. However, when you dig a bit deeper, you begin to understand the piece which was innovative was the output (improving customer experience) rather than the input (technology). Don’t get me wrong, the technology is incredibly innovative; however, if it didn’t serve a customer need it would have zero value.
It would have been easy for Great Clips to look at adding additional services or products, rather than building Online Check-In. What we got right at Great Clips was understanding our core business, identifying a way we could improve an existing value-prop and implementing in a way that didn’t disrupt or change the core business.
So the next time you’re looking for ways to grow or expand, focus your energy on what your business does well and how you can continue to improve those assets. This isn’t to say that new, innovative products don’t play a role. It is saying that too much focus on creating new often leads to your consumers being overwhelmed and your brand losing its identity.