Getting to simple is not a simple process. For those who persist and insist on giving customers a simple solution whether it be in product design or product messaging rewards await. In a complex world customers crave simplicity. And they will pay extra for it.
The 2012 Global Brand Simplicity Index created by strategic branding firm Siegel+Gale reveals that with variations by industry up to 31% of people are willing to pay more for simpler experiences and interactions. The Index is based on more than 6,000 responses to an online survey. Respondents in seven countries shared their perceptions of simplicity or complexity regarding various brands and industries. I looked for the language used in the report rather than the data. Using the simplicity ratings for the best and worst companies I found a good mix of content marketing that reflects or detracts from the simple experience and interaction.
Here are descriptions of some of the top rated U.S. brands perceived to simplify.
– Simple user experience, indispensable, “makes your day simpler” (Google)
– Transparency in ingredients and nutritional information (Subway)
– Intuitive design and plain-language communications (Apple)
– Superior customer service, absence of bag fee, singular message (Southwest Airlines)
– Unconventional humor, easily navigated website, simple messaging, whimsical mascot (Geico)
From the bottom rated global brands I found these descriptions:
– Complex pricing and promotions, a confusing website and “advertising that’s not particularly informative.” ( O2 )
– Small print, an overload of emails and poor customer service; “the whole process is complicated.” (Groupon)
– Complicated terms, concealed costs and lack of brand awareness (Bupa Health Insurance)
– Fine print, poor advertisements, misleading language and opaque pricing (Allianz Financial Services)
– Hidden costs, bad service, a cluttered website and deliberately poor pricing policy. (RyanAir)
Best U.S. industries for simplicity are reported to be Internet Search and Restaurant. Least simple industries are identified as telecommunications and insurance.
Simple is powerful
Companies can lessen the customer’s burden of trying to understand a product, website or service by making it simple. Those who do are winning in brand awareness and customer loyalty.
“Providing the lowest possible level of complexity for the maximum amount of value” is how Aaron Levie, CEO and cofounder of Box, describes it. Box creates a user friendly, cloud-based platform that allows people to share their content from anywhere.
Simple is the new black. It compliments everything about your product, company and customer experience. Done right it offers a differentiated customer experience and increases the number of recommendations generated by customers. Content that focuses on the product benefit will encourage potential buyers to interact with the brand. Ease of use will triumph over multiple features.
Content marketing for a simple customer experience shows in a few short steps how the customer imagines completing a task or overcoming a challenge. It shows how the product will allow them to do tasks as expected or even better than they imagined.
Do you find it hard to be simple?