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The Value of Brand Simplicity in 2017

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With the recent release of the 2017 Global Brand Simplicity Index, the cost of complexity is apparent now, more than ever. With 64% of consumers being willing to fork out more for simpler experiences, this year's Global Simplicity Index shows that simplicity pays.

Simplicity seems to be more valuable as the years go on. The index has grown by 433% since 2009, far outperforming the other major economic indices. As we know, brands need to stand out from the crowd to be noticed by consumers and the best way to do this is to declutter and make their lives easier.

With the rise of data and all things digital, we are in a situation of information transparency where consumers experience information overload. Too much choice leads to us craving simplicity and a break through the clutter (The Paradox Of Choice). Our brains are programmed to process a huge amounts of information so it’s not so much that we can’t deal with the constant messages, but that we crave something simple to grab our attention. We like a straightforward experience and brand communication but this takes true creative innovation.

In addition, the research shows that the percentage of consumers willing to pay more for simpler experiences varies by industry. The more complex the service or industry, the more willing consumers are to pay more for it to be simplified. Consumers crave simplicity and the path of least resistance so you need to make your service offering as straightforward as possible, especially if it’s a complex process to begin with.

Google’s no-nonsense, easy to process user experience has placed it in the top 5 most simple brands, year after year. By no means is Google a simple service, it has so many processes and tools but what’s important is a simple customer experience and brand perception. This simplicity of use is highlighted at the first touch with the clear logo standing out of the surrounding whitespace. A lot of the companies that rank higher for simplicity all have complex operating models but they just ensure the provision of a straightforward customer experience.

Branding your service as simple, even if it’s not, is the best way to get ahead in complex industries. According to this year's Global Brand Simplicity Index, companies could be missing out on 86 billion dollars (£69.5 billion) when they don’t simplify.

 

The global discount supermarket chain, Aldi, has been awarded first place for simplicity for the past four years. The straightforward, consistent brand positioning mixed with a basic, “tripped back” shopping experience has led to huge customer loyalty. As Aldi only offer a reduced range of exclusive products, consumers don’t have to choose between the usual dauntingly large array of products, making for a simpler experience. 

So, key takeaways:

  • Simplify your branding as much as possible to capitalise on consumer laziness!
  • The more complex your service, the more your consumers need simplicity
  • Remove and pain points and friction within your customer experience process
  • Psychology takeaway: It is human nature to want to take the path of least resistance as the less mental processing necessary, the easier the experience and happier the consumer

Brands that embrace simplicity experience increased revenue, valuation, brand advocacy and employee engagement, so why aren’t you?

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This article was originally published on LinkedIn

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About Author

Joe Birkedale
Joe Birkedale

Husband, Father and Managing Director at Catalyst. A calculated risk taker, pragmatic leader and realist with a passion for digital marketing. I consult a global client base on Marketing Strategy, Account Based Marketing, Marketing Implementation & Measurement. Fellow of the IDM.

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