Freedom of choice. On the surface it sounds like a good thing, and in market research, respondents unequivocally say they prefer to have choices.

But with choice comes complexity. Anyone who’s shopped for a car knows this all too well. Diesel, gas, electric, or hybrid? Full-size, mid-size, compact, or subcompact? Which makes or models are best? And then there’s exterior and interior color, entertainment and communication options, and so on.

This dizzying array of options in cars and just about every other product and service today creates a decision dilemma: Consumers find it difficult to choose and even fear making the wrong decisions. Paradoxically, freedom of choice and the complexity it brings can be paralyzing.

So, in a market full of choices, how can a brand optimize a product or service to give consumers the freedom to choose without creating decision dilemmas – and while benefiting the bottom line? Published in the Q3 2016 Asia Research Magazine, we discussed this using a case study of a telecom company.

Freedom of choice vs. predefined packages

“The company offers phone, Internet, and TV in simple, predefined packages – or bundles – as is typical of the telecom industry.

Each bundle is tiered for level of performance or features and price: the lowest tier provides basic Internet, phone, and TV; the mid-tier provides more robust service; and with the highest tier, customers get very fast Internet, unlimited calling, and lots of TV channels.

Having just three choices makes it easy for customers. The company, however…”