Apple Succeeds by Limiting Choice


Apple fanGreat article passed along to me by my colleague Robert about how Apple has been so successful in generating raving fans of its products by limiting product choices and customization. This goes in the face of what many of us believe is bad business. We all assume and are told that customers want complete freedom of choice, and the more options you offer, the better. But what customers value more than freedom of choice, is convenience in buying. I have experienced this many times myself. If anyone has purchased a vehicle, depending on the brand you buy from, some will give you what I feel are too many options with an a la carte menu, while others limit them to usually three clear, distinctive bundled packages (sport, convenience, and luxury). Customers do value the freedom of choice, but value convenience even more… especially when they are inundated with so many competitive products to choose from. Making it easy for them to buy means offering distinctively different versions of a product or service that are central to a customer’s needs. Apple offers three distinct versions of the iPod (Shuffle, Nano and the regular), while Creative and SanDisk offer 10 to 16 different MP3 players. Which has been more successful? You can read the article here.

3 Comments

Filed under Apple, Branding, Business, ipod, marketing, Packaging, Selling, Small Business Marketing, Technology

3 responses to “Apple Succeeds by Limiting Choice

  1. You have a great point. Apple pretty much throws a lot of very proven points in the face of all its competitors. Closed off systems (in a developer sense), high priced products, and lack of product choices.

  2. Interesting how this mirrors niche marketing, where when you narrow your focus, people recognize themselves and respond.

  3. The problem is not choice, it’s confusion. PC manufacturers think B2B applies to retail sales. It doesn’t. Customization only appeals to a small minority of people. They want to DO STUFF, not tweak and geek out.

    Apple has succeded not by limiting choice but by being a niche player. They are not the same thing. Apple narrowed it’s focus, instead of using the “shotgun” approach. However some would say they are failures for being the “small guy”.

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