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Simple does it better

3 mins read

Simplicity matters because it vastly increases our chances of success and 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. And it’s the same for staff and the businesses they work for.

The fundamentals of simplicity

Simplicity can be a matter of life or death. Take emergency services procedures, medical devices or weapons handling instructions: they have to be clear and easy to understand. Or else someone can end up dead.


The fact that verbosity can lead to death is also at play in business. Think of all the corporate strategies, transformation programs, digital campaigns or brands that are no longer.  Why? Largely because they felt too complicated for people to engage with. 


It’s not that these changes were necessarily too complicated. It’s that they felt too complicated. Important distinction. Example: what do you do when you get a looonnng email? Read it on opening it? Or save it for later? Most people pick the second option.

The simpler the better

Global design agency Siegel+Gale runs a Global Brand Simplicity Index — a study based on the responses 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 found that:

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

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

  • The simplest global brands have outperformed the average of the major indexes by a whopping 679% since 2009.

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

Grow simple

According to consulting firm Deloitte: “Simplification may be one of the most important yet underutilized tools in an organization’s arsenal”.

So, what’s holding back companies from doing this more? Steve Jobs put it well: “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work make it simple.” Needless to say, Apple’s hard work to simplify phones, music and personal computers has paid back big time.

There are many ways to make things simple or, rather, feel simple.

What do you want to simplify?

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