A Confused Mind Never Buys

Confused shopperWe live in a 24/7 news feed world. We are bombarded daily with mental and physical clutter and constant messages of “more.”

But when it comes to inspiring customers to make a purchase, offering “more” is not always better. In fact, the more options you provide, the more confused your customers feel – and confusion does not lead to sales.

Consider the famous Jam Study conducted by a pair of psychologists back in 2000. When offered six delicious varieties of jam, customers were very likely to try a sample and then make a purchase. But when offered 24 varieties of jam, customers were 1/10th as likely to make a purchase. As this study demonstrates, when flooded with too many possibilities, people feel overwhelmed and tend to walk away rather than swiping their debit card.

You’ve probably experienced this yourself, right? When a story is too long and overly complicated and never seems to get to the point, you tune out. When you see a restaurant menu that’s fifteen pages long, covering everything from French toast to pizza to sushi, it’s overwhelming and unappealing. When a company sends out mixed signals (the messaging on the website doesn’t match the emails or social media accounts, for example) it feels confusing. In these instances, are you excited to sign up, enroll, join, or make a purchase? Not really. And neither are your customers. A confused mind never buys.

Take a cue from streamlined brands like DryBar. DryBar offers one service – a fantastic blowout – with about six styling options. No hair coloring, No hair cuts. Nothing except for their signature blowout service. The simplicity of their menu has contributed to their success. DryBar has made it simple and easy for their customer to understand what’s being offered and say, “Yes!”

Take a look at your own business. Are you making it easy for clients to say an emphatic “Yes!” to working with you or purchasing your products? Or are you offering a smorgasbord of options that leave people feeling overwhelmed and confused?

Perhaps it’s time to “edit” your business, just as you might edit a piece of writing. You can remove unnecessary products, services and programs that nobody’s purchasing anyway, or services that feel outdated, or that don’t inspire you anymore. Strip your biz down to the bone. Fewer options. Fewer bells and whistles. Fewer “upgrades” and “bonuses.” Focus on one powerful message that you want to express rather then ten or twelve different messages.

Gary Friedman, Chairman and CEO of Restoration Hardware recently wrote in the brand’s fall/holiday catalog, “There is no denying we are living in a world of more: more websites, more products, more promotions, more confusion and more chaos. All of which leads to less; less clarity, less quality, less confidence, less time, and, we would argue, less taste. We believe taste lies in the ability to remove what is unnecessary so you can appreciate what is.”

I couldn’t agree more. Real clarity – and real taste – lies in the ability to strip away the non-essentials in order to focus on the real gems.

Take some time before the beginning of the New Year to thoroughly edit your brand, just like you might declutter your desk or closet. Ask yourself, “What do I want my clients to feel when they interact with my brand? and “What is the end result my clients achieve from working with me or purchasing my products and services?”

Focus on and communicate that, eliminate the non-essentials and you’ll have more clients saying “Yes!” in 2018.


  1. […] If customers don’t feel clear about what you’re offering, then they’re not going to open their wallets. A confused mind never buys. […]

  2. […] If customers don’t feel clear about what you’re offering, then they’re not going to open their wallets. A confused mind never buys. […]

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