When I wrote papers in college, I made everything sound smart.
“People are hungry” became “The body politic is regularly prone to experience a prominent esurience for sustenance.”
“Money is important” became “The wealth as encapsulated into fiat currencies should be considered paramount to functioning economic entities.”
I stuffed every sentence with thoughts until they mutated into literary tumors, formatted as paragraphs.
The professors loved it. They gave me lavish grades.
In academia, you thrive if no-one understands you.
This, however, doesn’t fly in the real world. The average person has:
- Little headspace
- Little intelligence
- Little patience
- Little knowledge
- Little time
- All of the above (Most likely)
People only digest simple thoughts.
Folks ignore everything that needs thinking.
They have enough thoughts as it is.
This includes the PhD’s reviewing my papers. No-one read them. They were glossed over and perceived as intelligent.
And I don’t blame them.
Thinking is a costly investment with uncertain returns.
So, when building a brand, you need to simplify.
- Strip things that shouldn’t be in focus.
- Eliminate jargon.
- Shorten your sentences.
- Decrease the number of syllables.
- Visualize important ideas.
Simplify, simplify, simplify. Until a 12-year old can understand it.
In branding, you thrive if everyone understands you.
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling dog food to house wives, or aircraft to specialists. Be crystal clear about how your project solves their pain.
Did you ever have to explain Netflix to your parents? Of course not. It’s the simplest brand around. Netflix is useful because it’s immediately understood by everyone.
Your brand should be easy to understand, easy to commit to, and easy to use.
Siegel+Gale ranks brands according to this simplicity. 12 They prove that:
Simple brands outperform brands that are perceived as more complex.
No wonder. We saw that people require a positive emotion to commit to something. But if you pitch them something complex, how much positive emotion remains? And if using it is difficult, how loyal will they be?
Radically simplify your brand.
As in politics:
If your audience is thinking, you’ve failed.
Simplicity is an art in itself. If you want to convince your audience, you need to practice it with zeal. As Albert Einstein said:
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”