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You Can Have It In Any Color …

… As long as it’s black.

Too often startups find themselves giving customers everything and 12 .

Imagine you go to a restaurant and you ask for a menu.  The waiter asks “would you prefer beef, chicken, pork or fish this evening?”

“I’d just like a menu so I can choose.”

“Ok but we have a different menu depending on your first choice.  Would you like our 12 page chicken menu or our 8 page beef menu, sir?”

You ask for chicken and you’re given the 12 page menu with 140 meal choices and a list of beverages longer than your arm.  Clearly this is not what you wanted when you came into the restaurant.  You wanted the chicken carbonara.  But that cacciatore sounds good.  And what’s tikka masala?  Wait, there’s a chicken masala and a chicken marsala?

Startups see the opportunity to overwhelm customers with how great they are.  We can give you this or that or this or that or this

Think this never happens?  What about a menu with 70+ dishes and one chef?

NSFW (Gordon Ramsay Warning!)

Startups cannot afford to offer every option.  It costs more, it creates confusion and it’s simply overwhelming.

If you’re a search engine optimization company, do SEO.  Do it until you’re VERY successful at it – then decide to add paid ads or email marketing services. Don’t open the door with no idea what you’re doing and offering social media management, Adwords, SEO, website design, app development, copywriting & conversion optimization.

You don’t have to open a full service anything to be successful.  Do one thing better than anyone in the world and build on that.

Think about Ramsay’s words in the video above.

I couldn’t do this menu on my own with 72 dishes on there! and you’re not a proper chef!”

Barry Schwartz deals with this in his book The Paradox of Choice: Why Less is More.  While Schwartz can get a bit hyperbolic at times the premise and research still stand.  When a consumer is presented with no choice they feel bad.  When they’re presented with some choice, they appreciate it.  When presented with unlimited choice, they panic and get anxious.

Before you send your brand new service live, think about your pricing one last time.  Are you making it too complicated?   Can you give customers more clarity? What color do you offer?

About Matt Antonino

Matt is a marketing consultant in Melbourne, Australia. He teaches businesses to market smarter and faster through multichannel marketing including SEO & Content Marketing, SEM, Email & Social Media.
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