Brand Aid 2: Less Is More!

In life, some people drive you mad, they never stop talking, they go round in circles, overloading your brain with useless information and never quite manage to get to the point… I’ll get to the point:

In business communication, the same can be true. Some companies go into far too much detail about their products & services. They blind us with science and bore us to death with far too many facts and figures, before they’ve even established if we’re remotely interested in what they’re selling.

The phrase ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ is not only true, it’s a scientific fact. Humans process visuals 60,000 times faster than just text alone. An alien (who happens to speak rather good English, with slight Martian accent), landed in Bishop’s Stortford and asked me “wart is a circle pleez*?^”

The best way to help the little fella with his Earth education wasn’t to describe one, but to draw one… “mmm, Zhank yu… and wart is Krickitt pleez*?^”… ahh, sorry mate, really nice to meet you, gotta go, catch you later…

The reason imagery is so important in marketing, is that people have a very short attention span. You only have a few seconds, at best, to grab their attention and get your point across, before they switch off.

In this example, we’ve shown how a poster with the same information looked, before and after we edited it. This simple, uncluttered ‘Hot Soup’ promotion (on the right) resulted in an 800% increase in soup sales for Caffè Nero.

This ‘less is more’ communication principle can also apply to your logo. Before some of the world’s biggest brands became BIG, even they started out by making sure that customers clearly understood their offer…

In the beginning, brands such as Ford, Apple & Starbucks used a strapline to explain what they sold, (as it wasn’t obvious from their names alone). Whereas ‘Furniture Village’, ‘PC World’ & ‘Dunkin Doughnuts’ didn’t have to try nearly as hard, their names tell us what they sell!

As brands grow and their awareness increases, the need for a strapline, or even a name, lessens.

Now, that’s OK if you have a multi-million pound, worldwide advertising budget to help raise your profile. But quite often, as an ‘SME’ in Herts & Essex, that’s not the case! The less well known you are, the more important it is to tell customers what you sell!

In this retail example, we look at local ‘IT’ specialists ‘Genmar’. On their old shop unit, the main emphasis was on their name ‘Genmar’ and their strapline ‘Your IT Company’ was much smaller. They wanted to keep their existing logo and colours, as they didn’t want to ‘alienate’ existing customers…

So, I sent a copy to my ‘alien mate’ from earlier (who’s ever questioning mind comes in very handy when analyzing design problems ?) “Sew, wye Genmar?, wart iz it zey acctualli do?, an wart abowt NU cuztomerz, pleez*?^”.

When your name doesn’t say what you do, and you’re not a well known worldwide brand, your strapline becomes even more important. In some cases it can be ‘Less’ about ‘Who You Are’ and ‘More’ about ‘What You Sell’.

Why not try the­­ ‘Less is More!’ principle and see what a difference it can make?!

“Wart hav U gott tu looz, pleez*?^”.