Right now, McDonalds Australia is promoting its frozen drinks on every print, digital and video marketing platform imaginable. They are promoting that they have 37 flavors in their frozen drink range.
This got me thinking, why would anyone ever need 37 different flavors for something as simple as choosing a drink. McDonald’s customers have been getting by with raspberry and coke flavors for as long as McDonald’s has been selling them. And while a few more flavors might be a good marketing plan, where is the point where the amount of choice becomes more of a hindrance than a help? When do too many choices become a problem?
Well, according to Psychology today “Research shows that if you’re surrounded by an abundance of options, you typically end up less satisfied with your final decision than if you’d been given fewer options in the first place.” I think this rings true when someone is sitting in a McDonald’s trying to choose between 37 flavors. Not only will most people spend time wondering about the flavors that they did not choose, but there is also a good chance that decision fatigue will set in before they got to any decisions that actually matter.
Once I realized this, I looked around at a lot of the decisions that we make in day to day life – what to wear, what to eat, what to watch, what to read. We make so many decisions every day, that we really don’t need to make, and it might be hindering our ability to make the decisions that are really important to us.
For me, the way to get around this is to set some rules for myself that free me from making these kinds of trivial decisions. I wear the same dresses to work on rotation and I always pack a lunch, so I never have to decide what to order. I will never order any of the frozen drink flavors at McDonald’s, so while I used some of my brainpower on this article about those 37 flavors, none of my brainpower will ever be wasted on choosing one.