Ever wondered why most Nigerians buy Toyota?
We all know that Toyota is not the best car brand. I'm yet to read in any Celebrity Magazine that a celebrity has just bought a Toyota. The one that makes the news is a Bentley, or a Porsche, or a Land Rover, or a Maserati. Never a Toyota.
We seldom marry the most beautiful girl.
We seldom marry the most handsome guy.
We marry the one we are most comfortable with.
A shoe shop aptly depicts this. We go in and try on the finest shoes but end up buying the one we feel comfortable wearing.
And that's how we act through life. We know the best, we love the best, we even want the best; but when we have to make a choice, we always go with the most convenient.
I'm a psychology enthusiast. All throughout university, I borrowed more Psychology books that Electrical/Electronics Engineering books. I read more research papers on Psychology than on all the other fields combined. I enjoy predicting people, trying to put to use my brimming book knowledge. I pay more attention to people's body language - facial expressions and body gestures, than what they say. Occasionally, they notice that I'm not paying attention to what they're saying, that I'm just looking and smiling.
After university, I took a UK Diploma course in Stress Management. The entire curriculum was Human Physiology and Psychology. I never scored below 90% in all the tests, and there was a test after each class.
I went on take more Psychology classes by university professors on Coursera. My favorite is the one by Dan Ariely of Duke University.
From these books, research papers and classes; I learned a lot about how the human mind works. And that most of our decisions aren't really our decisions. We hardly make choices, we nearly always follow the path of least resistance. And most of our thinking is on how to defend that choice we believe we've made.
We want to buy a car. There are lots of options. But we see Toyota everywhere, nearly everyone we know has one. They say it's the cheapest car brand to maintain. It doesn't drink up as much fuel as Honda, BMW, Volkswagen or Nissan does. A friend knows a great car dealer who sells Toyota at bargain price.
In the end our path of least resistance is buying a Toyota. And for most of us, there isn't an option, we simply by a Toyota. Buying another brand will require an onerous effort, and rejection of all the advice we got from friends and family.
Yes, there are people whose cars are not Toyota. But if you bother to find out why, you'll discover a similar story. The brand they bought was their own most convenient buy. And for those that went against everyone's recommendation, and bought the car they've always wanted. It was because they found that decision more convenient that buying something else. It's all about convenience.
We eat not because we are hungry. We eat only when we find it convenient, whether hungry or not.
Whenever there is a choice to make, we always go for convenience.