Brands are now putting more of a focus on determining priorities than before, due to a confluence of factors: the continual threat of a recession; post-pandemic volatility with businesses; and what Meta is calling the “Year of Efficiency” across not just how companies are organized but also in how they think of their overall business, including the products and projects that comprise it.

It’s Easier For Consumers To Decide When They Have Less Choice

Our culture of innovation, and brands needing to react to their competition, causes them to throw spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks — and a lot isn’t sticking. According to the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, one in four new products fails to survive one year after their launch. This coincides with the fundamental consumer need: Despite our culture of constant newness, it’s easier for consumers to make decisions when there are fewer choices.

To help brands make the case of prioritizing meaningful innovation and championing “less is more” in their marketing strategies, Forrester just published a new report, Less Is More When It Comes To Consumer Choice. This research helps B2C marketing executives understand why “less is more” is the rallying cry for brand innovation in 2023 and beyond. We found that:

  • Consumers have hit a decision-fatigue wall. Routine decisions such as “Should my kid go to school today?” have become nonroutine decisions during the last few years of the pandemic. The weight of simple decision-making in consumers’ everyday lives is causing fatigue. According to Forrester’s March 2023 Consumer Pulse Survey, if faced with too many choices, 41% will pause to research more before making a decision, and 30% will revert to the brand that they are most familiar with.
  • Instant access to information perpetuates decision fatigue. The amount of information and details readily available to consumers at every step of their purchase journey is insurmountable, and consumers spend a lot of time researching before making a purchase decision.
  • News without new SKUs is a win-win. It is still important to introduce “new news” related to your brand to inject freshness and excitement to the brand and overall business. A win-win for brands and consumers would be doing so in a way that can limit excess product choices while building awareness toward the brand strategy, such as creating buzz-driving ideas or leveraging a cyclical limited-time offer strategy that consumers can come to expect.

Be sure to read my full report, and I’d love to chat more about it during a Forrester guidance session.