The luxury of living in India; you can customize everything

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One of my all time favorite books is ‘The Paradox of Choice’, written by the world famous psycholochist Barry Schwartz. In his book, he confronts the reader with a painfull dilemma for consumers or product innovators: if you add more choice into your set of offerings, choosing the preferred one becomes very difficult and some customers even choose not to buy a product at all. Being a marketing professional for over 20 years now, I strongly belief in limiting the number of choices, as it confuses customers. The funny thing is that every customer survey or research will learn you the opposite: customers tell you that they want choices, they tell you that they want to have a wide range of adjustments and options from which they can choose. And now back to India. You could say that India – in a way – is one of the most ideal countries in the world if you like a lot of options. The reason for that? You can customize almost everything here. A lot of products that you buy are ‘made to order’ and sellers offer you multiple ways to customize your product. If you buy a set of chairs, they will not be delivered to you from a large depot. Instead they start to produce the product after you placed the order. It is not uncommon that they will ask you if you want to make any adjustments to the product. Another color? Extra patchwork on the back? Your name as a tag printed on the back? They will do it for you with a big smile, invoicing you a little more money for your order. The positive element is of course the unlimited number of choices that you will sometimes get. Unluckily there is also a downside and that element has everything to do with Barry Schwartz book.

 

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