Use Simplicity in Your Messaging to Drive Sales
DigiRevCon is a day of forward-thinking, actionable sessions with a focus on emerging trends in marketing. Thought leaders from companies including Harpoon Brewery, Cantina, Boston Interactive, Conductor, Life is good, Wagamama, and Skyword will share their insights on social media, content marketing, the mobile landscape, analytics, and more.
The DigiRevCon Speaker Series are posts contributed by these speakers, which highlight content to be presented at DigiRevCon.
This post is contributed by Brady Bonus, VP of User Experience at Boston Interactive.
To learn more, catch Brady’s session, “Achieving Simplicity in Design.”
As a marketer, your job is to deliver a compelling message to the right audience. But many messages permeating through our mass media can be complicated, convoluted, and, worse, distracting. Advertising by its very nature is a disruptive force. Perhaps more so than anywhere else, digital advertising clamors for our attention with an ungodly zeal. Brand messages shouldn’t be a distraction; they shouldn’t wreck our eyes and ears and beg for our undivided attention.
In my upcoming presentation at DigiRevCon, I discuss a methodology behind creating simple design. When it comes to delivering a brand message, simplicity should be more than your end goal. It should be ingrained within your process.
True simplicity is not just removing clutter or adding white space. Simplicity is refining your design or message to create clear understanding. A peeling back of the complex layers and moving toward a frictionless experience. Most people fail to achieve this because they go about it with an eraser when what they really need is a chisel.
A Simple Story
When she was still a doctoral student at Columbia Business School, Sheena Iyengar (now a professor there) set out pots of jam on supermarket tables in groups of either six or twenty-four. Of those who were given only six options, 30% bought jam. Only 3% of those confronted with the twenty-four jam choices converted.
Surprised by the numbers? Don’t be. Simplicity starts with the removal of excess choices. Not every choice matters to consumers. Ever eaten at a restaurant with 100 items on the menu? It’s overwhelming. When we present consumers with too much information, we’re adding resistance to their decision-making. Analysis paralysis, or the Paradox of Choice as coined by psychologist Barry Schwartz, posits that too many choices literally cause a paralytic anxiety in people. Ironically, those affected end up making no choice at all.
Simplicity matters because it resonates with our audiences and drives engagement and conversions. According to a 2012 study by the Corporate Executive Board, brands that simplify the decision-making process are 86% more likely to be purchased and 115% more likely to be recommended by their customers.
One of the best examples to demonstrate how big businesses are consistently evolving is through their branding. A brand not only defines a business to the consumers, but it acts as a guiding identity for the business itself. It’s not hard to find examples of brands following this methodology of addition by subtraction.
Each of the logos below delivers a simple visual design through the removal of information and helps reduce the cognitive load on us, the consumers.
It’s important to remember that simplicity is an evolutionary process. You may not get it right the first time, but if you continue to keep its principals in mind, your message can rise above the noise and ring clear to your audiences.
Let’s continue the conversation about designing toward simplicity during my presentation next Tuesday.
You can also learn more about Boston Interactive’s web design process.