Simplicity is the Modern Mantra for Successful Branding
Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 1099
, Published on 13 September 2016
SIMPLICITY for Successful Branding appears to be a very unorthodox concept and very rarely pondered upon. However, if we delve into the very concepts of Marketing and Branding and look out for successful brands, we will come across multiple examples where organizations have used the principle of Simplicity very pertinently to build their brands and enjoy ‘top of the mind recall’ with consumers. The golden words by Leonardo Da Vinci, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” signifies how deep-rooted the concept is and has been following for years.
However, in these times of dynamic marketing trends, it’s easily said than done. The consideration set in today’s world is very large and diverse and there is a cut - throat competition among organizations over enhanced features. In such a scenario, being resolute over building a simple yet powerful brand is a courageous and uphill task for any brand owner and needs lots of determination.
These successful brands go with the idea of telegraphing simplicity as they believe in establishing themselves on a particular stand and in doing so; a direct communication with the consumers over their particular needs is made. From the consumer's’ viewpoint, these big brands help in making things simple as they reduce the fuddle and have a focus towards hassle free delivery of the consumer requirements. Hence, taking the customer experience to simplicity in this complex world is the ultimate focus which helps brands in building customer loyalty, generate business profits and create value for stakeholders.
The concept of Simplicity is related more with interpretation, comprehension and cognizance than functionality. Apple is the most beautiful example in this context. They rightly identified that majority of the smartphone customers don’t explore all the features and functionalities of the phone. Rather, they buy it as a status symbol and to realize their sense of achievement. Hence, the company avoided complexities in terms of iPhone functionalities as well as Brand perception and hence have been able to maintain their trademark and dominance in the smartphone market. Similar is the case with Google and Amazon, some of the strongest tech-brands of the decade. They have generated billions with their brand value. The very idea behind their success is the philosophy of making end-user’s life simple and hence, to drive customer commitment and satisfaction.
Simplicity is not only the key to success for B2C companies and B2B companies should equally focus and pay attention towards implementation of the concept. For example if an organization deals with cloud space offerings to business clients, then distilling the offering with clarity will definitely help in a more effective and useful experience for the clients. Simplicity and its effect can also be realized by stock performances of an organization. Customers are more willing to pay for a simpler experience which leads to greater profits, increased customer loyalty and deeper trust in the brand. Overall this gets reflected in stock performance. B2B brands face the issues of bequest systems that limit them to be agile and come out of their traditional approach towards simplicity. However, they can always go for empowerment of people, removal of friction within the organization, re-imagining and re-innovating experiences and the most important, saving critical time being wasted in complexities to simplify their customer experience and establish themselves.
Simplicity is not just about curbing steps, elucidating language and generating instinctive graphics. It is about implementing them individually as well as making them work together in a clear and smooth manner. One should realize that there isn’t an end to simplicity and making things better. However, the key lies in going deep and understanding the exact fit for the various factors to work together and its impact on user experience. Also, a very general approach by many brands is to increment features and continuously augment their offerings. This can be avoided and brands should learn to stand firm in tough times and add Simplicity to their offerings and controlling the urge of modification and augmentation. A perfect example is the Google’s homepage which instead of having all the options of re-creating the page has stuck to its simple-looking search-page and that has resulted in its Point of Difference without affecting its profits and popularity.
We talked a lot about Simplicity, its features, advantages and how critical it is in creating a brand. How to manage Simplicity and work onto it is the key question and can be worked out by following some of the steps:
• The moment an organization starts thinking about life and not brand and start relating with customer experiences, it will start getting reflected in their Brand perception.
• Focusing on innovation and modification is the need of the hour. However, instead of going ahead on these steps, exploiting the current offerings and making it easily approachable to the consumers is the key.
• Creation of a Simplified brand cannot take place on a complex and tangled working structure. Due consideration of communication, processes and purpose needs to be taken to make things consistent and absorbable.
• One should believe in transferring ownership of ideas from stakeholders to the consumers. Only then a true picture of their needs and wants can be gathered and put together in consideration while presenting our offerings with Simplicity.
Another interesting finding we should ponder upon is that, it is not always to work on expected terms to keep things simple. If one maintains consistency while delivering the unexpected, it can result in an outstanding brand communication with a touch of Simplicity. Though, these factors are rarely combined; one can find many good examples of Brand building via this approach. The issue is long-standing, big brands have great consistency but, they rarely take unexpected risks to communicate. On the other hand, newer upcoming brands have a lot of unexpected stuff to speak about but aren’t consistent.
The key to success for brands like Apple, Nike, Coca Cola is not by complicating things rather going Simple. In this age of day to day technological advancements, brands should keep an eye on not over-flooding the information and communicating their messages on grounds of Simplicity and easy to understand and comprehend.
This article has been authored by Ruchi Tallewar from IIM Raipur