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Enemies of Simplicity

Photo by Goran Ivos on Unsplash

Topic: Business

We have looked at why making your brand and business simple is essential. We talked about filtering information, simplifying offerings and making your messaging clear. Here, we are going to talk about the enemies of simplicity. These are things to watch out for in your brand or business that can make simplicity hard to achieve and cost you money if you aren't careful. 

October 7, 2019 0:23

Author: 
Josiah Duenes

Last week, we looked at why making your brand and business simple is essential. We talked about filtering information, simplifying offerings and making your messaging clear. Today, we are going to talk about the enemies of simplicity. These are things to watch out for in your brand or business that can make simplicity hard to achieve and cost you money if you aren't careful. 

These were created by Marty Neumeier, and I will expand on them a bit more as well.

The urge to add:
Most of us have a strong tendency to create more when less is better. 

This is why I love using simplistic design methods. It is much more difficult to create something simple. It is easy to start adding more colors, more fonts, or more drinks to your menu.


The desire to make a mark:
Another strong tendency is the desire for “brand children” - features, products, services, and businesses that we can name and point to with pride.


The need to grow revenues:
Selling more stuff leads to higher profits, doesn’t it? It’s a common perception, but not always true.

This is a big one I see often. Many times, selling more items requires to scale more. This can lead to more costs. This is true for service or physical products. There are simple ways to grow revenue (as in without adding complexity) but, this isn't a pricing post. 


The lure of competition:
Marketers often find it easier to play an existing game than to change the rules or start a different game, so they focus on one-upmanship instead.


If this is you, you know who you are. There isn’t much reason for someone to switch to you if you are identical to someone else. You have to be different. Very different. 


The fear of falling behind:
If one company adds a hot new feature, panic sets in. Fast-following companies will feel the need to match that feature, usually without subtracting others.


Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. This is why uniqueness is necessary. You should solve a problem in your way. You should offer a product or service that is different. Don’t be a copier. You’ll never be a leader that way.


The expediency of extension:
Brand extensions, the process of adding variations to an existing product or service, produce profits in the short term ( at the risk of defocusing the brand).


The masking of weak design:
It’s easier to obscure a poor design with more details than to make the fewest number of details count. Designers refer to these cover-ups as “band-aids.” 


This is sort of like lying. Usually, when someone is lying, they over-explain all the details. Don’t be a liar.

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