Buyers Eliminate Most Options Unconsciously

Most buyers do not consciously evaluate all of the options that are available to them. People cope with abundant choice by unconsciously eliminating options. Even prior to examining the available options, a buyer will reduce the number of options to a select few options that conform to their sense of what Byron Sharp calls "brand salience."


  • Advertising is defensive - Brands must defend their brand salience from competitors and ensure they have sufficient mind-share to make a buyer's consideration set.
  • People cope rather than optimize - People do not rationally optimize when decision-making but must work from incomplete data


Sharp, Byron. How Brands Grow: What Marketers Don’t Know. Illustrated edition. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.