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Choice Is Yours

When customers just can't decide, that when you step in.

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This story appears in the December 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

One of my favorite projects involved a distribution problem with Snapple. The company had more than 50 flavors and had encountered a problem: Customers were taking whole lunch hours to figure out which flavor they wanted with their tuna sandwiches.

At that time, I was touting a shift in consumers' desire for something called managed choice, in which "editors" sifted through people's options and eliminated what was unnecessary. My recommendation for Snapple was a rack that held only eight flavors. . . four that remained constant and four that changed daily. That way, consumers could choose something different or something familiar.

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