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Millennials and the Paradox of Choice - David Leung


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Toronto Learning Night - July 21, 2016

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Millennials and the Paradox of Choice - David Leung

  2. 2. The Original “Jam Study” • Conducted at a upscale Bay-area supermarket by psychologists Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper, found that consumers were 10 times more likely to purchase jam on display when the number of jams available were reduced from 24 to 6. • This phenomenon has be replicated in a variety of product categories from chocolate to financial services to speed dating and is known as “the Paradox of choice” • It’s a paradox because rationally speaking the more choice you offer your customers, the more sales you should make simply because you’d be satisfying more needs better.
  3. 3. The Original “Jam Study” • These replicated studies confirmed that more choice isn’t always better. Excessive choice not only produces “choice paralysis” but also that it can reduce people’s satisfaction with their decisions, even if they made good ones. • Nevertheless, the Jam Study and follow-up studies has remained controversial; surely giving your customers more choice must be a good thing, right?
  4. 4. Choice Overload: A conceptual Review and meta-analysis (2015) • A meta-analysis was done by Kellogg researchers to determine when reducing choices for your customer is most likely to boost sales: 1. When people want to make a quick and easy choice (effort- minimizing goal) 2. When making the right choice matters/you are selling complex products (the decision task is difficult) 3. When you show options that are difficult to compare (greater choice set complexity) 4. When your customers are unclear about their preferences (higher preference uncertainty)
  5. 5. “There’s so many taco places, we gotta make sure we go to the best one”
  6. 6. Millennials. Who are they? • Actually the term is “defined” by the media • In October 2004, researchers Neil Howe and William Strauss called Millennials "the next great generation," which is funny. They define the group as "as those born in 1982 and approximately the 20 years thereafter." In 2012, they affixed the end point as 2004. • Read more: is-when-each-generation-begins-and-ends-according-to- facts/359589/
  7. 7. Millennials and Job Hopping • Over the last 20 years, the number of companies people worked for in the five years after they graduated has nearly doubled.
  8. 8. Millennials and Moving
  9. 9. Millennials and Moving
  10. 10. Millennials and Friends • Are we closer to or further away from our friends?
  11. 11. What do the psychologists say? • As external conditions change, it becomes tougher to meet the three conditions that sociologists since the 1950s have considered crucial to making close friends: proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other
  12. 12. Millennials and Love
  13. 13. Explosion of Dating Apps And many more……
  14. 14. What do the numbers look like?
  15. 15. In addition to…. • Even more “criteria”…. • Active (fitness and outdoors) • Intellectually curious/well read • Well travelled or the desire to travel • Good family values • Ambitious and career oriented • Someone who is actually a good person
  16. 16. How to Make Hard Choices • According to Ruth Chang… • There are easy choices and there are hard choices. • The easy choices are those where the one option greatly outweighs the other options. The hard choices are those where neither option is obviously better than one another, they may be different. Stated otherwise, they may be ‘on a par’. • When alternatives are on a par, the alternatives are in the same neighborhood of value, in the same league of value, while at the same time being very different in kind of value. That's why the choice is hard.
  17. 17. Hard Choices • So when we face hard choices, we shouldn’t be beating ourselves up looking for the best option. • There is no best alternative. Instead of looking for reasons out there, we should be looking for reasons in here: Who am I to be? • People who don't exercise their normative powers in hard choices are drifters. Drifters allow the world to write the story of their lives. • So the lesson of hard choices: reflect on what you can put your agency behind, on what you can be for, and through hard choices, become that person.
  18. 18. • “To lead a fulfilling life, most of us make four big commitments: to a spouse and family, to a vocation, to a faith or philosophy and to a community. The measure of our lives depends on how well we choose these four enduring commitments and how well we execute on our promises to them.” • David Brooks, NYT Journalist