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Why simplicity matters

Simplicity can be a matter of life or death.

Take emergency service procedures, weapons handling instructions or medical device manuals: they must be clear and easy to understand. Or else someone ends up dead.

The fact that verbosity can lead to death is also at play in business. Witness all the corporate strategies, transformation programs, digital campaigns or brands that end up disappearing. Why? Very often because they just felt too complicated for people to engage with.

It’s not that these changes were necessarily too complicated. It’s just that they felt too complicated. Crucial distinction. Example: what do you do when you open a looonnng email? Do you read it or do you ‘save it for later’? Most people pick option two.

Simplicity matters because it vastly increases our chances of success. It touches all aspects of a business. With more choice and information than ever before and rapid change all round, consumers are demanding simplicity from brands. It’s no longer a nice to have. It’s a must do. The same goes for staff - the simpler the workplace, the more creative the workforce.

The simpler the better

Global design agency Siegel+Gale runs a Global Brand Simplicity Index — a study based on the answers of 15,000 consumers in 9 markets – that ranks brands and their industries according to their perceived simplicity or complexity. They’ve been running this study for 10 years now and have unearthed some striking insights:

  • 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for ‘simpler experiences’

  • 64% of people are more likely to recommend a brand that delivers simplicity.

  • Companies that fail to provide simple experiences leave an estimated $98 billion on the table.

Even the auditors agree. Deloitte says: “Simplification may be one of the most important yet underutilized tools in an organization’s arsenal”.

How simple is your business? Let’s discuss.



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