Product Complexity

How easy is it to understand your product line? Let’s say a potential customer wants something that you offer – can they readily determine from your brochure, website or other collateral what is right for them? If you read Forbes magazine, you may have seen a small article about the problems Chrysler has with product complexity; more than 150,000 possible combinations of features for one model alone, compared with less than a hundred for a competitive vehicle. In this age of mass customization you might think that offering more choice would be a good thing for consumers, but if you’ve ever tried to figure out the combinations of features on some of these vehicles you very soon realize that sometimes less is more.

This isn’t just a matter of complexity – people’s attention span is lower than it has ever been. If you don’t seem to have what they want the chances are that they’ll be on to the next website in a click. Remember this when you’re thinking about organizing your information – put yourself in the position of the user and ask yourself what they would like to know if they were in the market for your product. As the saying goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression – better make it a good one, because if you don’t someone else will.

One thought on “Product Complexity

  1. Product complexity is one of the single biggest cost drivers. For companies like Chrysler, it is the difference between surviving and not surviving. In this age of mass customization the key is understanding what features customers value, and offering the right feature combinations.
    It takes advanced analytics to keep on top of this.

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