peanut butter and jelly on open slices of bread with pink background

Why brand matters: Decision Paralysis

Have you ever felt unable to make the most simple of decisions? Like when you are hungry and go on DoorDash to order food and just get overwhelmed you can’t pick anything so you grab a bag of chips from the kitchen instead? There is a name for that, it’s called decision paralysis. It’s when you just freeze and can’t make a decision.

We are overwhelmed daily with decision making that decision fatigue and decision paralysis are becoming more and more common.


Example: DoorDash

Screengrab of doordash main screen with many restaurant options

Let’s go back to DoorDash… you know you are hungry, you first need to decide how you are going to get food… cook, dine in, take out, delivery… you decide you don’t want to leave the house so delivery it is… now, DoorDash, Uber Eats, Post Mates, or Pizza??? You decide to go with DoorDash, open the app, now you need to decide what type of food do you want? Narrow the category, choose a restaurant, then choose a meal. That is 5 decisions each with TONS of options!! Options ranging from gourmet sushi to McDonalds.

I have personally found myself spending 20+ min trying to find something and just saying “screw it” and making myself a Peanut Butter and Jelly.


Our Brains

Our brains are not wired for that many options. We are still at our primal level, hunter gathers who are hardwired for “food = survival”. It’s no wonder that the amount of simple decisions making is taxing on us that we often shut down.

Here is a wonderful article by our client, Caltech, which explains why this happens.

Too many choices is not helping us.


How does this relate to you?

When building a business and a brand, you are in control of the driver’s seat. You have control over the experience your guests and audience will have with your brand. It’s up to you to do everything in your power. They are going to experience your brand how you imagined it… granted you sort of set the stage and let them see the show and they can interpret it how they want… but we have a fair amount of control. Knowing the decision fatigue and decision paralysis of our audience experience, you have the opportunity to make your experience SO unique that you will be the “go to” for that niche.

image if in and out burger's menu

Sticking with the food analogy… In-N-Out burger is the perfect example of this… their menu is very simple, burgers, fries, and shakes… the burgers come with very few options, grilled or raw onions, animal style and the number of patties you want. That is it! The burgers are not “the best” but they are distinct. There is not another burger out there that is quite like In-N-Out… they have a niche. They have limited the number of decisions for you, making them a more favorable option if you are in the mood for burgers compared to getting overwhelmed with the no name burger shop that sells hamburgers, gyros, and orange chicken.


Challenge yourself…

Think of a few areas where you would be your audience’s number one choice. Is there anything within that category that you could do to improve on? What are the overwhelming categories that are a part of now and how can you differentiate yourself and become the niche?

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Carolina Vangilder of Stellen Design Branding Agency in Los Angeles CA
Carolina Van Gilder
Project manager / Assistant
The coordinator, facilitator and scheduler for all Stellen Design projects. She communicates with clients about everything from contracts and payments to design edits and revisions. She helps keep the logistics on point so Stellen Design can live up to their reputation.
Carolyn Packard of Stellen Design Branding Agency in Los Angeles CA
Carolyn Packard
Carolyn Packard is a seasoned designer with valuable insight into effectively communicating and interpreting design needs to her clients. Carolyn knows the value of creating good, functional design.
Jordis Smalls of Stellen Design Branding Agency in Los Angeles CA
Jordis Small
Creative Director
Jordis is a big believer in continued education. She makes it a point to attend at least four workshops or conferences a year to keep her skill improving. She is also a big advocate for “creative play” and loves to spend her spare time trying new things and learning new techniques.