“Like cats are to swimming” • THINK Global Research

“People are to thinking like cats are to swimming”. This is a brilliant quote that Mark Earls has re-iterated at one of his talks that I’ve been to last year. Basically, it means that while people sure do have the ability to think, they often prefer not to engage in thinking unless they absolutely have to. It perfectly illustrates people’s aversion to complex decision making processes, hence the reason why we’re prone to taking mental “short cuts” (such as looking for social cues or price range categories) to facilitate our decisions.

Yet, many companies are still bombarding people with too much information. Instead of making the decision process easier, they make it harder by providing too many details and alternative options.

In order to facilitate the decision making process and bring people closer to the moment of purchase, companies must determine the aspects that people value most about the products or services. They must then present the comparison of these aspects, in order of hierarchy. For example, if the company knows that purchase decisions (apart from price) are driven by convenience, they must present the information in a way that allows comparing the convenience factors at a glance. If longevity of products is the key factor, the years of warranty should be one of the most prominent features on display.

To the companies that argue a case for providing as much details as possible up front, I would highly recommend watching the following video as a metaphor for consumer reaction to complex decisions. 


Written by:

Lana Bruskina – Strategy and Insight Manager

For further information on THINK Global Research, please contact Kristy Ihle (Managing Director) at  info@thinkglobalresearch.com.

Leave a Reply