What is the opposite of simple?
One of the key principles of our Business To People branding approach is building connections with your audience.
And that connection starts by creating a brand that can concisely encapsulate and explain the benefits of your product or service. After all, if you can’t articulate your offer so that your audience quickly understands it, the chances of them selecting your product or service are slim.
Successful consumer brands appear to make these connections almost intuitively, yet many business organisations still struggle to communicate in a way that’s simple, relatable and memorable. They overlook the fundamentals — the result is unclear positioning and overcomplicated messaging.
As if to prove this point, as I’m writing this — yes, honestly — I’ve just received an unsolicited email newsletter with the following message: “Helping you achieve your goals. We work with you, bringing fresh insights and innovations to help you achieve your business and personal goals.” And there’s a picture of a whitepaper entitled “How to set and achieve your goals.”
I have never dealt with this company and have no idea which sector they work in, or what expertise they offer. They’ve given me no indication of their USP, and failed to write an engaging headline that’ll make me want to find out more. In fact their copy could relate to pretty much any organisation that is pitching its services to another business.
“Helping you achieve your goals” is so generic it could refer to almost any organisation or product — at a stretch it could even be talking about the yoghurt I had for breakfast.
Messages such as this really do sound ‘B2B’ — as if one business is attempting to talk to another. It’s bland, corporate, stripped of any sense of personality. It’s indicative of what’s wrong with adopting an outdated ‘B2B’ approach. On the surface it might appear to distil the company’s pitch into a short message, but rather than being simple, it’s become simplistic. It achieves the opposite effect to what’s being attempted: this short message has become more complex than a longer, definitive headline. The resulting copy is vague, and vagueness is never going to convince anyone.
Making your messaging simple and meaningful starts with having a clearly defined proposition and brand strategy — one that’s rooted in clarity. If you don’t understand what you stand for and capture this in a clear brand strategy, it’ll be incredibly difficult to communicate to your audience with any degree of clarity.
However, once your strategy has been defined, everyone in your organisation will understand what you stand for and what they’ll need to do in order to get your message across. This in turn will make your marketing, comms and activations far more effective.
When it comes to branding the opposite of simplicity isn’t always complexity, it’s often invisibility.