In the fast moving, rapidly changing landscape of the 21st century, communicators are being inundated with ways to get their message out and attract and retain customers. And, consumers are constantly wooed by the next best thing, right? Not necessarily, according to Donald Reinertsen and Stefan Thomke of the Harvard Business Review. In their June 5th blog post regarding product design, they tell us that less is more – simplicity is key. This theme seems to resonate with the communicator and promoter of products as well. Ironically, this statement can really complicate things. In a time when we are developing tactics to engage our publics through a multitude of social media channels, advertising, earned media, and face-to-face interactions, just to name a few, how do we keep it simple?
The authors cite Walt Disney as an example of a leader that embraced this philosophy in the creation of his theme parks (I know what you are thinking – Disney Land isn’t simple). But Walt’s approach to Disney Land was. Instead of continually adding fancy bells and whistles to attract new customers, they explored the larger issue of the customer experience and the magic that was the core of this experience. This strikes a chord with me as a communicator and a marketer. In striving for simplicity, are we able to have a greater impact on the audience we are targeting and the publics we are trying to influence?
Leonardo da Vinci thought so. In his words, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”