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Variety Seeking definition

Variety Seeking (© /

Variety Seeking (© /

One of the things that refers to customer behavior in the marketing world is “variety seeking.” However, many marketers still do not understand what this term means and how companies can prevent this type of behavior from customers. In this article, we’ll be covering variety-seeking behavior in great detail so that those who are new to the marketing world as well as veterans can understand it completely.

Variety-Seeking Buying Behavior Defined

Variety-seeking behavior is when a customer has a low level of interest in a company or brand. This can happen across many industries, but it is usually consumable items like food and toilet paper where variety-seeking behavior happens. However, even though the customer does not have any particular brand loyalty towards brand, they still perceive a great deal of difference between one brand and another. But the reason that they choose one brand over another is simply variety. Even if they like the last brand that they tried, they still may move onto another brand not because they like them better but just because they want to experience a new product.

How Customers Shop

It starts with understanding how customers shop. When customers go to the store, they often buy the same things. If they are buying items that they use all the time, then it is very likely that they are going to choose the same brands that they are used to. That’s not always the case though. For example, when it comes to crackers that you might find in a supermarket, customers may choose the brand of cracker that they always get, particularly if it is something that their children enjoy. However, they are just as likely to be tempted into buying a completely different brand simply because the crackers on the box look like they are different enough from the crackers they ordinarily by as to offer a new experience.

Why Variety-Seeking Behavior Happens

On some products, there is very little evaluation done before choices made. That’s because the evaluation comes while you are actually consuming the product. For example, suppose that you are in the potato chip aisle. If you come across a bag of potato chips that you have tried before and enjoyed, there is a chance that you will get that same brand and flavor of potato chip again. But if you want some variety, you made move on to a different brand.

This is variety-seeking behavior, and it happens due to the huge number of options that are in front of customers. Customers exhibiting this type of behavior will generally do a lot of brand switching. They do not usually switch brands because they dislike or like a particular brand, they will do so because they have very little engagement with the brand and are switching out of boredom.

openPR-Tip: With variety-seeking behavior, companies have to work harder in order to get customers to buy their products. There are some strategies that will work for doing that, and we will discuss them in the expert tips section.

Statistics on Variety-Seeking Behavior

there has been a great deal of research done on variety-seeking behavior. Marketers and scientists alike want to know what motivates consumers who exhibit this behavior when they are shopping. Researchers have been able to narrow down variety-seeking behavior by gender, demographic and lots of other things. For example, variety-seeking behavior is most prevalent among males 25 to 34 years of age; for females is the 20 to 24 age range that exhibits the most variety-seeking behavior. They also narrowed this by marital status, and found this behavior most common among divorced persons.

Expert Tips: Combating Variety-Seeking Behavior

Experts have to mean tips when it comes to combating variety-seeking behavior. The first is to offer customers the variety that they want in the first place. You notice this a great deal with an example that we have already used in this article – potato chips. If you go into the potato chip aisle, you will notice the manufacturers create a dozen or more different flavors so that the customer can try something new if they choose. They are always coming up with new flavors as well. This is one of the best ways to ensure that customers stick with the same brand while still giving them the freedom to find variety in their shopping. The more variations that you can offer and still make money, the more you will be able to combat this if you happen to sell products within the industry where variety-seeking behavior happens.

The other expert tip is to make sure that you are reminding your customers at every opportunity that you are there and that your brand is superior. You need to do regular marketing to put your brand first and foremost in their mind when they go to the store. If they feel loyalty to your brand somehow, or if they have been convinced that your brand is superior to all of the other ones out there, there is a much better chance that they will stick to your product or buy within your product line if they are looking for variety. It may seem obvious to tell you to advertise, but the trick here is, you need to advertise with the customer that exhibits variety-seeking behavior in mind.


The bottom line is that variety-seeking behavior happens, and if you want to combat it then you have to understand it. People want variety in their lives. It didn’t used to be that way – at least not to the level that it is today. But people in the past had a lot less choice than they do now. Now, not only do you have a choice as to which store you visit, you have many different variations of a particular product within that store. This means that you should use the tips provided here as well as your own research to determine how to market to those who seek variety.

See also:

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