Lessons From Napa: Fewer Choices

I recently passed a billboard saying “Imagine a football stadium filled with flooring. That’s us.” The sentiment behind that message is that they have virtually unlimited choices.


There is merit to this marketing approach. People looking for lots of options will be attracted to that kind of message. People looking for a deal or ideas will probably head there first.

In Napa, however, I heard the opposite message. Instead of wineries claiming to have tons of wines to choose from, they emphasized the limited selection. On a number of occasions, I was told about choosing fruit from specific rows of specific blocks of specific vineyards in specific appellations to make a particular wine. Not only did these wineries offer only a few options, they proclaimed that they were only offering the best options. They had already sorted through lots of choices and were only presenting those worthy of the customer’s attention.

Instead of inviting customers to choose from a wide variety, they drew attention to the fact that they weren’t presenting a bunch of options. They had a “take it or leave it” mentality. And it works for them.

In fact, in some ways, presenting fewer options makes them more attractive to buyers. Customers depend on the expertise of the seller. Fewer choices mean they don’t have to waffle over details. Instead of encountering a sea of decisions, they can choose to trust the winemaker or not.

As a small- to medium-sized rental business, you can offer a wide variety of options or choose to specialize in a particular area. Even if you are offering a mixture of products, limiting choices within any particular category will help your client trust you and your company. Instead of feeling like they have to fend for themselves in a roomful of choices, customers will feel like you are guiding them to the best option.

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