Build a strong brand through simplicity

By Yvonne Ehinger

Build a strong brand through simplicity

It is a challenge for many companies to simplify and make it easy for the customers to understand their offering. Hand on heart—who wants to say that your products or offering is simple? And yet that is of crucial importance to succeed. Why is that? 

The answer is—simplicity gives business. Studies show that simplicity increases customer loyalty and their willingness to recommend the brand to others, but it also decreases price sensitivity. In the Global Brand Simplicity Index, they found that 63% of customers are willing to pay more for a simpler experience, and 69% are more likely to recommend a brand because it provides a simpler experience. Perhaps that’s not so surprising since we all tend to look for brands that create ‘effortless simplicity for me’, or conversely—few people look for brands that complicates their lives.

‘Effortless simplicity for me’

Does this apply to both large and small businesses?

I would say yes. I recently visited a small and growing company. They were struggling, both internally and externally with their Brand Management. Growth is great, but it can sometimes bring complexity during the development phase of becoming a larger company. To stay successful, I recommend that you try to simplify all processes internally. A commitment to simplicity must start from the top—only then it can enable all employees to deliver a clear and straightforward brand experience.

Time is precious

Today’s customers want information quick and easy when preparing a decision or confirming information. Time is always a key factor. Just go to yourself—think about when you are about to buy a product or service. And to minimise the time needed to grasp the why, how and what of an offering means increasing simplicity. Make your product and offering quick and easy to find and easy to understand. Like a Google search, shopping on Amazon, or listening to music on Spotify. All these companies are successful through offering effortless simplicity and through saving time for their customers.


Start with one Persona

To do this right, I always recommend that you get to know your customers and make sure it is easy for them to experience and understand you. And you should start small. Decide one persona and get to know them well. After that, you can add one or two more personas in your work. Then you need to make sure that your whole company is delivering customer service based on an understanding of what it is like to be them. When this becomes second nature to all employees (and delivered upon)—you get truly loyal customers and a strong brand. 

‘Delivering customer service based on an understanding of what it is like to be them’

How can you achieve a simple brand experience?

As always—it starts with a strategy and a plan. Decide your Brand Promise and describe it in one sentence or three bullets. Stay focused, prioritise and deselect.

Implement your Brand Promise internally and secure understanding through follow-ups and measuring. Remember to onboard new employees thoroughly. Most companies I have been in contact with run business and brand onboarding in a day or so. At one of the most known coffee chains in the world, the onboarding lasts for three months.

Remember that delivering the Brand Promise is not a job only for Brand Management, Marketing and Sales, but for the whole company. When all employees understand the brand promise they have the clarity to develop and deliver an excellent brand experience.

Stay simple and clear—shape your brand experience into effortless simplicity for them!

Talk to an expert

Yvonne Ehinger
Online Strategist at Zooma, 2016-2017.
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