A few weeks back, I read a piece in The Guardian about flash fiction and micro fiction, literary forms that tell stories in 25 to 1,000 words. I was reminded of the very basic need for brevity and simplicity that we crave in our increasingly attention-deficit world.
A few brands have understood that less is more but most are yet to discover the potential of a minimalist approach.
Let’s look at how some brands have applied this philosophy from product design to identity to customer experience.
Simple is stunning. Apple’s MacBook Air. Or any Apple product for that matter.
Simple is iconic. Yves Behar’s rebrand of Nivea.
Simple does not tie you down. Starbucks’ evolution of its identity.
Simple is welcoming. Pepsi’s packaging.
Simple is liberating. 15 minute movies - Shemaroo’s repackaging of Hindi movies on YouTube.
The minimalist philosophy has been around for ages and is certainly not a ‘new trend’ but why has it regained relevance?
The simple answer is that our lives have become too complex. We are bombarded by too many choices. We live in an over-communicated world. Technology is everywhere. Screens are dominating our lives and some would argue are destroying our relationships. In the midst of all this chaos and clutter, we are drawn to simplicity like honeybees to nectar.
I’ve started using the simplicity filter. I’m pleasantly surprised by the feel good factor for myself and for the recipients of my work.
Shorter e-mails. Presentations with very few slides. Fewer options when showing strategy or creative. Less meandering and getting to the point directly.
Less is definitely more and I’m lovin’ it!
Imagine if more brands made our lives easier by simplifying? What if you could speak to a customer rep without navigating a complicated phone tree? What if you could open a bank account in just a few steps? What if you could check-in and check-out of a hotel without ever dealing with any paperwork?
What if we were not bombarded by visual clutter in communications every day?
There’s a lot of innovation potential out there that simplicity can unlock. Where and how can you apply this to your brand?
Lulu Raghavan is the managing director at Landor Associates, Mumbai. When she's not obsessing about branding she is either cooking up a storm, checking out a new restaurant or traveling somewhere exotic. Follow her other adventures at http://lululovesbombay.blogspot.com.