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Simplify! How to Make Your Brand Shine

Do you remember the “Kein Jägermeister” advertisement? A true classic from my twenties that had everyone talking back in the day. Same thing with the Axe commercial starring an eunuch ten years earlier. With a good idea and a hefty media budget, ideas were unstoppable.

Eva Ciuman
3. July 2024
Reading time: 9 min


Today, TV isn’t the communal experience it once was. Instead, 14-29-year-olds are chronically online - an average of 257 minutes per day. With constant stimulus and information overload (almost four and a half hours, or a part-time job!), big ideas that get everyone talking have become rare. Highly personalized content, countless channels, and strong target group fragmentation make things complex. More than ever, it's about being relevant to absolutely everyone – figuring out what message they need at which point in their journey.

Complex Messages Are the Enemy of Brands

Brands are created through communication, i.e., the exchange and transmission of information. However, global hyper-competition leads to a flood of communication, making it increasingly difficult to enhance brand awareness, achieve clear differentiation, and foster brand loyalty. The target audience must understand who the brand is and what it can do for them.

To manage this flood information, people instinctively rely on reducing complexity, selecting only the information that appears and is perceivable in their environment. Without this selection, there is a risk of sensory overload, preventing meaningful processing of information. Technically, complexity reduction serves as data preprocessing and simplifies communication. In managing social systems in business traffic, such as brand systems, the technique of complexity reduction and the principle of simplicity are applied.

We know that successful brands are easy to understand and communicate clearly. They cleverly break down complex matters to the essentials – whether in slogans (e.g., "Just do it, "The bank at your side.", or the healthcare company Genentech with "In business for life."), in commercials, user manuals, content marketing, or even directly on the sales floor like Ikea or Aldi. Of course, each of these brands has a huge media budget behind them to anchor the message, but the clarity with which it comes across all channels is remarkable. Good brand messages can be played out for years and decades and constantly revitalized. Once the core is precisely hit, an authentic story can be told that naturally evolves rather than being reinvented regularly.

Why Simplicity Is Better

The complexity of the current (advertising) world results from the disappearance of traditional mass media in favor of highly fragmented and personalized channels. Some brands try to be present everywhere to ensure they reach their target audience somewhere in this maze of channels and platforms, often with moderate success. To be truly present everywhere with success, you need a high budget, lots of manpower, know-how, and sensitivity to meet the requirements of each medium. "Let's do this TikTok!" is a good thought in principle, and the "launch & learn" approach is certainly not the worst, but a well-founded, digitally integrated channel strategy and medium-specific communication concept are essential for long-term success.

So is less more?

In our view, sometimes it is. When budget and resources are limited, the key to success is focusing on the essentials and thereby reducing complexity. This means putting the (potential) customer at the center of all activities and offering them simple and smart solutions.

This is where the "Simplify" approach comes in. One focus in the approach is to identify the needs of the target groups to work out the "why": How does the brand improve my moment, day or life? What difference do I experience when I use this brand instead of another? What does it say about me?

Subsequently, it is essential to develop a deep understanding of the journey and based on that, work out the "how": Where do I reach the target group? When are they receptive to information? When does contact with the brand even make sense?

After evaluating all the possibilities, the complexity is broken down again, and the "what" is created: What will the message be? How do we transport it as clearly as possible? How do we make it memorable? And how do we succeed in driving the user to a long-term behavioral change with it?

It’s clear: the simplest message is the key to success. It starts with the strategy: I wouldn’t go so far as to say it should fit on a coaster – but it shouldn't be 150 PowerPoint slides either. Thought out, to the point, and precisely formulated – these are the success factors. After all, it also serves for onboarding agencies and employees. A weeks-long induction is not practical.

From the strategy, it can be broken down into a slogan, a campaign, a content marketing concept, or any communication whatsoever. Simplicity makes many things better.

Simplify! The Cascade of Simplification

Broken down into the four basic steps, it means the following:

  1. Focus on the Essentials: In a world full of distractions, it’s crucial to concentrate on what really matters. This means clearly and concisely communicating the core message of a brand while avoiding unnecessary complexity. Always keeping the person that you want to reach in focus, and how you can add value to their lives. 
  2. Effective Communication: Clear and simple communication ensures that messages are better understood and accepted. This is especially important in a time when attention spans are getting shorter.
  3. Optimized Decision-Making: By reducing complexity, (purchase) decisions can be made faster and more soundly. Think of order processes, contact, or complaints. The simpler, the more effective – and the more grateful and loyal the customer.
  4. Sustainable Success: Long-term success is achieved through consistent and understandable brand communication. Clear positioning and simple messages build consumer trust and promote customer loyalty. With a strong message, the campaign can be played out for years, becoming firmly anchored in the minds of target groups.

The Role of Expertise

To present complex matters simply, you need experience and deep know-how in what you do. From analysis, deriving conclusions from it, through creation, technical implementation, to strategic consulting – all that ultimately comes across easily and simply is the product of years of expertise. It takes on the role of a complexity decoder in the entire process and each individual task. This way leads to developing tailor-made solutions that inspire and are effective.

And to simplify all of this...

In an increasingly complex world, the ability to simplify is a crucial strength. Companies that understand how to untangle complex challenges and convert them into clear, actionable strategies offer lasting value. By focusing on the essentials and finding simple yet effective solutions, brands can stand out from the noise of the masses and be sustainably successful. Simplify means that solutions are creative, inspiring, memorable actionable, and lasting. This helps make the complexity of the modern business world manageable and paves the way to clear and simple success.

cyperfection gmbh
Eva Ciuman

Im Zollhof 1
67061 Ludwigshafen