Consumers are rejecting the “bigger is better” culture that dominated the late nineties and 2000’s. We lived through the constant barrage of information, advertising, news, social media and politics and were left with a consumer audience begging for simplicity, less clutter, honesty and purpose.
You can look around and see the signals of how “less is more” is permeating our culture. Design trends in fashion and décor are simple, clean and uncluttered while the new food trend is clean, fewer ingredients and simpler recipes. Architectural design is also delivering smaller, more efficient spaces with clean lines and minimalism, and giant retailers like Walmart are opening smaller stores with scaled down product offerings.
Consumers desperately want to easily navigate the complicated networks of information and they are responding to brands that speak to rather than shout at them.
Example: AZK Home logo series by Ellie Brands ©2019
So what does this mean for branders?
There are new requirements in order to engage prospects and customers and not turn them off and so Less is More is now, more than ever, an important part of our evolving communications culture. Brands need to rethink how they communicate with consumers:
Simply name and organize products and services
Avoid clever and cute and instead strive for clarity of brand message
Bring forth the most essential parts of what your are trying to showcase
Find opportunities to declutter your brand visual identity
Create a simple and intuitive website navigation and experience
Offer easy to understand product instructions
Packaging should not require an engineering degree to open
Condense marketing copy and say more with less words
Before beginning any branding or marketing activity, we like to begin with the following question:How can I create less to deliver more? And, before we hit the post or send button, we take a step back and ask ourselves a similar question: Can I take away (even more) to create more impact?
The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. — Hans Hoffman
While it may sound counter-intuitive, brands that deliver simple, subtle, honest, transparent messages will be the ones that break through the clutter.
And brands that can quickly embrace “Less is More” might find themselves being the surprising winner.