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The Luxury Value in Simplicity

Wayne McMaster

30 January 2014

Simple is beneficial

Instinctively, people understand that simplicity is beneficial—that it is the essence of the golden rule. Everyone wants to understand what is offered to them or asked of them. It is also an indication of consideration: we've taken the time to move the complexity of something out of the way so that the recipient of a conversation, a deed, a gesture, a letter, understands what we mean.

With many consumers feeling burned out by a constant barrage of information overload, and advertisements screaming 'look at me', some of us will be going in the other direction. Brand agency Siegle & Gale's 2013 global brand simplicity index proves that customers would pay more for simpler experiences. Taking on board one of our own values, SIMPLICITY, our prediction is there will be more of a shift towards simplicity. There will be a toning down of campaign messages, not wanting to overwhelm consumer. Some of the strongest brands in the last decade have created incredible brand value and industry-leading performance. Their success can be directly tied to simplicity, to making life simpler.

Singular Simplicity

As our lives become more complicated – filled with multiple choices and over-abundance – we seek products and services that appeal for their simplicity or because they meet our individual needs. By simplifying you will be able to provide this luxury value to them. If what you have created is easy to use, works well and feels effortless when using it, then people will love your services and products, the same can be levelled at your marketing efforts both in print and in your website.

Holistic approach

Simplicity is not just about eliminating steps, clarifying language or using intuitive graphics. Premium brands that succeed due to simplicity understand that everything must work together, clearly and seamlessly. Apple is a brand that lives this. Not only are the devices beautiful, simple to understand and ready to use right out of the box. Not only do the devices work simply with the iTunes store, iCloud storage and other Apple systems. It isn’t just that their user interfaces are a model of clarity and simplified interaction. Apple realizes everything matters when it comes to simplicity. That there isn’t an end to what can be simplified and made better. That in order to get it right, they must consider everything… they must look at the whole system, the big pitcure as well as the detail. Only by having a holistic approach can premium interior brands understand how everything fits together and how everything matters to the user.

Decision simplicity

Simplify the decision-making process, so much so that consumers actually think less about the decision. Premium interior businesses can do this in three easy ways by helping their consumers:

  • Trust the information they receive – providing recommendations by consumer advisors, ratings and reviews.
  • Learn effectively without distraction – simplifying the research process by offering clear and streamlined brand-specific product information targeted to each decision stage.
  • Weigh options confidently – making transparent buying guides and differentiated information easily available.

Luxury in Simplicity

Living simply with beautiful, useful and meaningful objects offers an honest yet elegant way of life. This is as much a philosophy for living as an important product trend. It is steeped in the human desire for clarity, function and craftsmanship. This desire is what we should be tapping into as we craft our marketing strategies for 2014.

Avoiding Feature-itis

Taking Google as a reference. Despite constant pressure to use the power of one of the world's most visited pages on the web to promote other brands, Google resists that urge, maintaining a simple page in the best interest of the user. A simple white page with a blank box. The function of their homepage?– to search for an answer, with a single box to type your question within. Even if their current spate of doodles is a little distracting…

Simple is a powerful strength for great brands like Amazon, Apple and Google. Increasingly, it will be necessary for every brand in the premium interiors sector to embrace. In a world of ever-increasing complexity, brand simplicity is critical for premium interior brands to get right or risk customer disappointment and defection.

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