If it’s not absolutely essential to your brand messaging, eliminate it.
“Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them. Sometimes, that’s an ad.”
Howard Gossage said that. He was an ad man in the 1960s.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Leonardo Da Vinci said that. He was a genius from the Italian Renaissance.
“’Less’ is my motto. Why? Because ‘Less is more’ is too damn long.”
I say that. I’m a branding/marketing/advertising blogger from the 21st century.
Simplicity is the most valuable quality you can give your brand messaging. It’s not that hard to do, either. Here’s how:
1. Find the words that aren’t essential to your brand messaging. Eliminate them.
2. Find the design elements that aren’t essential to your brand messaging. Eliminate them.
See? Easy as pie. The hard part is sticking to your guns. You need to have the conviction – and so does the rest of your brand team – that simple is better, less is more, and a message delivered in 20 words trumps one delivered in 200.
So many brand managers at automotive OEM suppliers find it hard to resist the urge to put more words in an ad or a brochure, on a web page or in a press release.
“But we have all that space to work with. We might as well fill it.”
No, I beg of you. Please don’t.
The human race is generating new messaging at an unprecedented rate. Brands that stand out, way out from the din, are practiced in the art of simplicity.
In this day and age, simple is different. And in every day and age, different is good.
Simple brands require a whole lot of conviction.
“Seriously? That’s all we’ve got? That’s all we’re gonna say?”
Yes, that’s all you should say.
Back to that Mr. Gossage’s quote, up there at the beginning of this post:
“Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them. Sometimes, it’s an ad.”
To the unconscious mind, simplicity is a shiny object that just plain looks interesting. It’s inviting. It catches the eye. Of course, what you say in your brand messaging needs to be compelling, relevant, and interesting. But simplicity has a winning record in the sport of getting attention.
OK, two more quotes about simplicity from people with far bigger brains than mine:
“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”
Hans Hofmann said that. He was an abstract artist from Germany.
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
Albert Einstein said that. He played the violin.