The importance of brand simplicity

Continue reading

The greatest brands help simplify our lives and make them more enjoyable.

Brands like Apple, Netflix, and Google have tremendous value to people because they provide solutions to their needs, and in doing so contribute to the positive aspects of their lives.

We need to spend more time seeing the world through the eyes of our customers. For them, brands exist to be of service and to make valuable contributions to their lives. In terms of a brand’s value equation, it’s very simple from a customer point of view: if it’s of great value in my life, I’m loyal to the brand.

If your brand isn’t adding genuine value to life, then customers simply won’t be engaged. Worse, you might actually detract value and become a nuisance. So, how do you go about defining a brand’s purpose so that it can be of true value? Well, a purpose can’t be created – it already lives in the heart of your business and is the reason why your brand exists. But sometimes along with growth, things can get complicated; your organisation’s internal mission and the complexity of day-to-day operations can cloud the purpose of your brand. If this is the case, you will need to rewind the clock and rediscover your brand’s purpose. This is an act of discovery – not creation – which means gathering insights through workshops and interviews, and going deeper into your customers’ mindsets. The marriage of your customers’ needs and your brand’s offering becomes the true purpose of your brand, and once you know that, it needs to be communicated clearly in a way that is simple and direct (without bells and whistles).

What’s to gain by being simple? There are three things:

Coherency and longevity

Simplicity, driven by a clear vision, will fuel your brand to express its purpose coherently through behaviour and offerings. When a brand reaches ultimate simplicity, it will answer the most important question: Why do I exist? This might mean the current way of doing things will have to evolve, but holding true to the purpose helps your brand make decisions in a consistent and aligned way, and ensures a natural evolution well into the future.

Increased brand loyalty

Simplicity is not just about eliminating steps in your customer’s journey – simplicity is about going deep into the heart of your audience’s motivations and behaviours. Only by going deep, can brands understand how everything fits together and eventually make things matter for their audiences.

Drives better performance

According to Siegel+Gate’s simplicity index, a portfolio of the publicly traded companies in the global Top 10 simplest brands, has beaten the average global stock index by 214% since they first started conducting the study in 2009, and this year’s Top 10 continues the trend.

In a world of ever-increasing complexity, brand simplicity isn’t a trend: it’s something critical for businesses to get right if they’re to find their purpose and make things which matter to their audiences.