Usually when we’re in the supermarket we tend to have a certain bundle of products that we purchase simply by habit, and others that have to go through an evaluation phase before we decide to actually buy them. We commonly take the decision to buy these products in two different ways: a) When we evaluate the product we take into account the attributes that the brand offers, this is called the category effect; and b) We take into account only the products’ tangible characteristics, this is known as the ranking effect. These 2 effects are the reference that we have to properly evaluate products. Depending on how we buy a product, we’ll have a different evaluation of it; either we transfer to it the value and characteristics of the brand or we take into account the attributes that put it in a certain rank of its own category. These weighting applies to any product like clothing, electronics, musical instruments, etc.
“Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers.” – Irvine Welsh.
Nowadays we have the fortune (or misfortune) of being able to choose a product out of hundreds of brands with various different characteristics; some would think the more, the better. And it is because of this “The more, the better” mind frame that we have so many options available for almost everything in our lives. This is why we can find entire supermarket aisles dedicated to just one type of product like milk or cookies, stores with hundreds of similar mobile phones, and even crucial life decisions tend to be full of options like which career to choose.