Inspired by a recent course I attended on behavioural economics, I started thinking about the concept of maximisers and satisficers and how businesses can optimise the amount of choice they offer.

We’ve all gone into the supermarket and been confronted by 24 different varieties of Greek yoghurt, which as far as we know are all the same. There are people that love this range of choice and will spend a good while evaluating offers, design and pricing. And then there are other people to whom this range is overwhelming and would much rather just have two types to choose from.

In a nutshell, these two types of people are maximisers and satisficers.

Coined by Herbert A. Simon in the 1950s, this concept divides ‘choice makers’ into two groups, maximisers and satisficers. Those who want maximum choice and options at all times before they can make their decision and those who are contented to make the decision that is simply ‘good enough’.

We often make the mistake, as modern marketers, that everyone wants as much choice as possible at all times. In fact, people often want less choice. As a marketer, or anyone trying to cater to a specific audience, it’s key to understand the audience you’re trying to attract. Are you overwhelming your audience by giving them too much choice? Does minimizing or reducing what you’re offering actually appeal more to your target market? It’s worth thinking about next time you’re laying out your offering to your target market….