By Anna Johansson
Marketing is an art form, which means it’s constantly evolving, fluctuating, and shifting from one best practice to the next. But at its core, marketing and branding aren’t as complicated as we think. In fact, they can be quite simple.
The Power of Simplicity
“Every brand thinks it’s the most important thing in their user’s life. Seldom is this true. A user’s experience with a brand is just one event in an action-packed life,” entrepreneur Russ Meyer writes.
A good brand develops a strong customer experience. A great brand develops a strong customer experience that comfortably slides into the customer’s day-to-day life and causes as little disruption as possible.
It’s not about being the loudest brand or grabbing the most screen share from your audience. Success in today’s market is about adding value in a way that doesn’t frustrate or distract. It’s all about making life easier.
One of the ways brands accomplish this is by simplifying their branding across the board – something that requires a lot of discipline and forethought.
“Simplicity is not just eliminating steps, clarifying language or using intuitive graphics,” Meyer continues. “Brands that succeed due to simplicity understand that everything must work together, clearly and seamlessly.”
There’s no better example than Apple. Everything about Apple is simple (which shouldn’t be confused with low-tech or basic). From the physical design of its devices to the operating system to the website design, there’s minimal friction and disruption at every touchpoint. That’s a big reason why Apple has scaled to its current heights.
4 Ways to Simplify Your Marketing and Branding
Simplifying a brand – particularly an existing one with lots of clutter – is tough work. But if you’re willing to give it a try, we have some tips that should prove helpful in streamlining your marketing and branding:
1. Don’t Catch “Feature-itis”
For software companies in particular, it’s easy to catch what some in the industry refer to as “feature-itis.” But there’s something to be said for keeping things focused.
Google’s homepage is a great example. Despite external pressures to add promotional partners, ads, and other features, Google continues to feature a logo and simple search box. And that’s why people love it!
2. Use Clean Design (Digital and Physical)
People want simple yet functional products. In other words, they want a product that looks simple, but still provides a ton of value – like an iPhone.
A non-tech example would be AEGI’s premium design-forward children’s products. They have ceramic and silicone cups, plates, and bowls that feature clean lines and sustainable materials, yet are stackable and have suction cups on the bottom to keep them in place.
Whether you’re in a tech niche or non-tech industry, clean design is a huge selling point.
3. Quality Over Quantity (Social Media)
It’s so easy to get caught up in the “more is better” idea. But when it comes to social media, quality is far more important than quantity.
Trying to build out a massive presence on every social media platform – including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tiktok, etc. – is nearly impossible. It’s too noisy, crowded, and complicated. Instead, pick a single platform and spend all of your time learning it, mastering it, and building an audience. Then, if you feel like you have the capacity to expand to a second one, do so. But take it slow!
4. Shorten Your Value Statement
You’ve been told in the past that you need an elevator pitch or set of core values. And while this is true, you shouldn’t confuse either of these with your value statement. An elevator pitch works when you’re at a networking event and you have a few minutes to talk with someone face-to-face. But it’s much too cumbersome to use in branding or marketing. What you really need is a brief one-liner that explains the precise value you provide your customers.
Here’s what a typical elevator pitch or branding statement looks like: “We’ve been in the industry for 25 years and over that time we’ve won thousands of cases for our clients. In fact, we’ve had more successful settlements and verdicts than nearly all of our competitors combined.”
Here’s what a value statement looks like: “We win the cases other lawyers can’t.”
Both of these statements say the same thing, but the first one is clunky and distracting. The second one is straight to the point. Strip away the fluff, pull back the layers, and focus on what matters most.
Simple Yet Powerful
Simple doesn’t mean basic or devoid of personality. It just means less friction and disruption. It’s a streamlined alternative that fits into your customers’ daily lives in a more effortless and impactful manner. Make the switch today and begin reaping the rewards!
Anna Johansson is the founder and CEO of Johansson Consulting, where she works with businesses to create marketing and PR campaigns.