"The Tyranny of Choice" in a Digital Consumer World
A n article by the Economist in 2010 is a excellent article that underpins the issues that we all are presented with be it professionally, personally, & socially, in intimacy, entertainment and leisure.

It's cites among others "The Paradox of Choice" by Barry Shwartz in which he states the following:

"Choice no longer liberates but debilitates"

“the fact that some choice is good doesn't necessarily mean that more choice is better.”

It goes on to underpin with a 2010 study by researchers at the University of Bristol found that 47% of respondents thought life was more confusing than it was ten years ago, and 42% reported lying awake at night trying to resolve problems.

The digital generation is doing what Mr Schwartz calls “picking”, not “choosing”: “With a world of choices rushing by like a music video,” he says, “all a picker can do is grab this or that and hope for the best.”

Brands simplify choices. They are a guarantee of quality or consistency in a confusing market, and a badge of trust.

“The Power of Less: The fine art of limiting yourself to the essential…in business and in life” or “Living Simply: Choosing less in a world of more”

A 2006 Bain study suggested that reducing complexity and narrowing choice can boost revenues by 5-40% and cut costs by 10-35%.

When Procter & Gamble, an American consumer-products company, thinned its range of Head & Shoulders shampoos from 26 to 15, sales increased by 10%, according to Sheena Iyengar in “The Art of Choosing”.

In a world that celebrates individualism and freedom, many people decide to watch, wear or listen to exactly the same things as everybody else.

The more that options multiply, the more important brands become. Today, when paralysed by bewildering choice, a consumer will often turn to a brand that is cleverly marketed to appear to be one that others trust.

The digital generation is doing what Mr Schwartz calls “picking”, not “choosing”: “With a world of choices rushing by like a music video,” he says, “all a picker can do is grab this or that and hope for the best.” Young people have grown up with masses of choice, says Dan O'Neil, a British life coach who helps people overcome indecision, “but they have never learned to make a choice and run with it. In adult life, they aren't equipped to cope.”

5 years on from the writing of this article, have we not learnt that far from being content with our choices, the multiple choices have contributed to the disintegration of our economic health and ultimate wellbeing because of large corporates pursuit of profits by bewildering the consumer into trusting the brand behind the brand, because the "sub brand" is just a front to attract a particular demographic?

To read the article in question click the following link.

http://www.economist.com/node/17723028

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