Please don’t take offence. We are simply pointing up a new phenomena in the world of brand. Although the appeal of certain brands, loved the world over, has been theorised, analysed and explained in countless books, articles and academic courses, there is an inescapable fact. Just as society changes and moves on, so do the brand values that consumers find compelling. And there’s been no greater change in our lifetime than the technological revolution. As far as brands are concerned, this has given rise to a new breed of disruptor brands, that owe their rapid supremacy to a single word. Simplicity.
By making it simpler to hail a cab, access the world’s information and find a holiday apartment, bypassing the hotel industry, these new brands have become multi-billion pound concerns. And what could be simpler than buying everything from best sellers to barbeques, with a single click, courtesy of the all-conquering Amazon. But does the simplicity of the consumer experience, translate into inspiring people to spend more, motivate employees to deliver on the brand promise, drive brand loyalty and ultimately create financial gain.
Research that’s been running since 2012 provides a resounding Yes. Tens of thousands of consumers, surveyed across the globe, have proved that simplicity is a powerful element in achieving brand status. The facts that simplicity pays are convincing. 64% of consumers are willing to pay more for simpler experiences. 61% of people are more likely to recommend a brand because it provides simpler experiences and communications. 62% of employees are considered brand champions in companies perceived to be simple.
For the ‘how to’ guide to creating brand simplicity, we can turn to the Global Brand Simplicity Index 2017, produced by leading American branding company Siegel and Gale. By surveying emerging brands, that are changing the stakes in terms of brand choice, they have come up with five key criteria for delivering simple, meaningful customer experiences.
1. Empower people
Sidestep traditional industry protocols and shift power to consumers
2. Reimagine experiences
Turn underwhelming experiences into moments of delight
3. Remove friction
Identify pain points in everyday processes, and remove them
4. Save time
Value people’s time by providing service where and where they need it most
5. Provide utility
They demonstrate usefulness beyond their core offerings or services
No one would claim that creating an emotional connection with a brand no longer influences choice and loyalty, because it does. However, the importance of brand simplicity, certainly supports those who advocate rational reasons as the way to create powerful enduring brands.