In a recent Ad Age Post (click here for post), Thomas Stringham speaks of the trend to minimalism as it relates to logos. Seems all very reasonable and sensible. With the world growing in number of complex choices, messages, images…keeping things simple and minimalist might be a real refreshing way to go. In the end, emotional connections with consumers don’t need to be super complex, they need to be focused, compelling and limited in dimension. Keeping it simple is something consumers might really appreciate, and find it easier to connect with in the long-run.
I would carry Thomas’ premise one step further. I think Marketers should apply the same principle to other areas of their consumers’ world as well…not just logos, as we know, every touch point plays a role in shaping the image/character of a brand. Making minimal things such as SKU offerings, website design and functionality, in-store design/layout…just to name a few, can help you make it easier for your consumer to connect and appreciate the value you bring to them. Too many SKUs, too many messages bombarding a consumer in a store, too complex a site can result in frustration, confusion, and disaffection.
I know there’s a tendency for Marketers to want to make an impact when they start working on a new brand, but impact doesn’t have to mean “adding more”, it can mean defining the underlying emotional underpinning for the brand and dimensionalizing it as simply as possible across all dimensions of the brand’s offering.
And I know there’s the occasional tendency for Agencies to want to make things more complex than they need to be. They too want to make the “splash” and sometimes put their agency new business interests ahead of the needs of the brand to keep it hanging all together. So if you feel your agency isn’t listening or isn’t capable of giving you what you need, push them more or look elsewhere. There are plenty of agencies out there well equipped to manage your brand in a way that will help it connect more effectively with your consumer.