“Samplification”

I coined a new word today – “Samplification”. 

I have been working on writing a strategic marketing analysis for a new client and had been studying the competition in the local marketplace.  One national and one regional homebuilder have, over the past few years, claimed the lion’s share of the production side of the market by promulgating a “price” position.  I do not believe that is a major obstacle as it is relatively simple to successfully compete by providing a strong quality position based on superior market-driven product.

But in reviewing the competition, I noticed that both the regional and the national builder appear to be offering an excess of product choices in their developments. My experience over the years that I have been in this industry has shown that in a single product development or in a single “village within a multi-product community, six to eight basic home designs is typically sufficient to satisfy the targeted market segment.  In this market, 44% of the developments offered 10 or more home designs including one with 11, one with 12, one with 13, one with 16 and one which broke my personally observed record with 21!

That is why I coined the word “samplification”:

sam·pli·fi·ca·tion [sam-pluh-fi-key-shuhn] noun 

 1.  The actions or procedures that provide an excessive range of choices that creates needless confusion;

2.  In the homebuilding industry, the process of providing so many home designs from which to choose that the prospective buyer is unable to narrow the choice and make a buying decision.

There have been numerous studies done on the subject of excess choices – by psychologists, by consumer research firms, by retailers, by the auto industry.  I will not bore you with the specific details here but the unanimous result is that excess choice reduces the buying action, in some studies by as much as 65%.

There is no doubt that housing is now firmly on the mend and that the future for the homebuilding industry looks better than it has for many years.  Opportunities will abound for the rest of this decade for intelligent strategies and professional implementation to lead the way to increased sales and profits.  Let’s all make the most of those opportunities and not do anything that impedes that potential such as killing the sale by samplification.  But that’s just my opinion!

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