In marketing, simplicity and consistency are key. This may sound like an obvious tip – but some companies think marketing needs to be over-the-top and really ‘out there’ to gain and more importantly, keep customers. The fact is: consumers are overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with choices, questions, options, advertisements, etc. The average American sees over 5,000 ads in a day – that’s a lot of competition for brain space! On top of that, since most ads are targeted specifically to your interests, once you click on one ad, you, in turn, increase the number of ads you end up seeing which further complicates decisions for people.
To be clear, simple doesn’t mean boring. It means helping customers make a buying decision, as quickly and easily as possible. The clearer your message, the easier the process is for customers. In fact, 61% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand because it provides simpler experiences and communications.
A great way to increase simplicity in your brand is to provide a side-by-side comparison showing your product or service as the better of two options. It allows consumers to quickly compare options, see the best deal, and offerings. It also allows you to control the narrative. If one of your competitors offers something unique, that you don’t, you can easily leave that off, showcasing the best of your firm.
Next, focus on streamlining from within. Simplicity requires a top-down approach; everyone from CEO to new hires needs to be able to communicate in a simple, straight-forward manner. Help your employees know what the message is so it’s consistent at every level. The Dollar Shave Club, for example, has streamlined their whole brand. You know exactly what it is just by the name, and if you’ve ever seen a commercial, you know what you sign up for – $1/month gets you in the Dollar Shave Club – razor/razor blade delivery. It keeps it simple on the backend for the business but more importantly, on the front end for the consumer. It puts the choice (what little they have) in their hands so they hold the power – but keeps it simple enough that they keep coming back for the consistency.
Below are 7 enemies to simplicity and ways to overcome:
- The urge to add
- Less is more, ‘make things simple not simpler’ – Einstein
- Making too large of a mark in branding
- It’s important to have consistent branding, but don’t go overboard. Let your work speak for itself.
- Focus on growing revenues
- Yes, revenues are important but not at a high cost. Focus instead on lowering costs while keeping quality to improve profit margin.
- Lure of competition
- Don’t let the competition distract you, it can be self-defeating and lead to forgetfulness or lack of quality. Focus on what you do best.
- Fear of falling behind
- A competitor’s improvement or addition does not mean your brand needs to make changes as well.
- Over-extension of the brand
- Not every project needs an add-on, sequel, or fixes. Let your customers let you know what they need.
- Covering up overall weak design with too many details
- Marketing isn’t a high school paper, there is no word minimum. Keep it simple.
At the end of the day, the answer is to – (you guessed it) – keep it simple. As consumers face choices every second of the day, make your business stand out by making it easy and consistent. Keep in mind your loyal customers and ask them why they stick around.
The simpler it is, the more sales you’ll have.