The Whole Foods in Boulder is somewhat of a cultural epicenter. To better support this, the store recently went through a huge renovation. They opened their new “wing” with an enormous amount of prepared foods and a Dean and Deluca-esque selection of gourmet meal components. Behold below, one of two food bars focused on olives. Just. Olives.
And fear not a rush on aged cheddar. They are prepared.
I am totally, completely overwhelmed by this new store. It’s impossible for me to navigate through the choices in any effective way. I have to have tunnel vision to get in and out of there as fast as possible. The abundance of choice is driving me to simply choose less.
Just last week, a partner of ours asked me a question about a new online social service, assuming that I would be using it. I was not. Every year, I see buzz about hundreds of unique online services all targeted at solving different, unique problems in my life. Yet, with also those services out there trying to solve my problems, here is what I sign into almost daily:
- Mail: Gmail and Room 214 Gmail
- Social: Facebook and Twitter
- Productivity: Google Calendar and Basecamp
- Fun: Gilt Groupe/Groupon/Amazon and Epicurious
I use either Facebook or Twitter to sign into a wide variety of other services, including online publications and commenting platforms. I’ve got a few things I use weekly, like LinkedIn, but in general that’s about it. As an online consumer, there are only so many things that I can do well, and so many things I can master. And I WORK in this space.
The abundance of HOT! NEW! SOCIAL! tools out there is overwhelming to everyone, and it’s likely really overwhelming to your customer. You can’t expect your customer to understand that you have information on Foursquare, a blog, a Twitter handle, a contest on Facebook, a game on your website, and a branded mobile application. Spend time understanding how your customers behave, what their interests are, and how they explore these online. Most importantly, understand the tools your customers use to answer questions in the purchase cycle. Then pick a few tools that your brand can properly manage and your customers can properly utilize and understand. As a consumer, it’s not easy to cut through the noise. Brands that understand and cater to this will be poised for success.