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Simplicity: Consumers desire to escape chaos

A growing trend that we’ve noticed amongst the thousands of consumers we talk to on a daily basis, is the desire, or indeed the need, to de-clutter their lives and move toward simplicity.

Due to a difficult economic climate, increasing expectations, a growing skilled and educated workforce and ever-developing technologies, people are feeling overwhelmed, and as such, a longing for simple living is emerging.

Nicola Kemp of Marketing Magazine covered the issue in her latest article entitled “Tuning Out: Why brands need to disconnect and embrace the new simplicity,” for which our own Sally O’Rourke, Managing Director for Europe, was approached for comment.

The article highlights that consumers are growing weary of the “always-on” culture,” as infinite choice is no longer empowering, but daunting. With increasingly hectic lives, consumers want to know they can make quick and well-informed decisions about their purchases. Brands need to be trusted if they hope to succeed.

Gone are the days when bad reviews could be swept under the carpet; the strength of the consumer voice is growing. The Internet has revolutionised our lives in numerous ways, but one great impact is the ability for users to submit reviews online; whether for goods or services, if someone has had a negative experience, they can now permanently record it.

A corresponding trend is that of de-branding. Kemp includes the example of Selfridges “No Noise'” campaign, launched in January 2013. The famous department store is paying homage to simplicity and minimalist design and sees famous brands such as Heinz, Marmite and Beats by Dre losing their logos and stripping themselves back to the bare, very minimum amount of branding, in turn distancing themselves from the “noise” of the crowded, excessively labelled marketplace.

We are inundated with information and choice, and as such, any marketing, or product launches need to be handled with care; knowledge of your market is imperative. Sally observes: “We’ve seen a lot of evidence that consumers are re-drawing the boundaries in their lives when it comes to technology,” and this has serious implications for marketers. “Brands are facing a choice: they can either go the big data route and collect data in a bid to understand their consumer, or they can be human and attempt to understand their customers’ true emotions,” she says. “Smart brands know that to truly connect with consumers, they need to prove they are listening to them and really hearing what they say.”

Long gone are the days where executives can sit around a board table and simply make decisions. In such flooded markets, you need to ensure you’re giving the public what they want, and at a time when many feel chaotic and pressured in their lives, it is evident that simplicity and transparency are key.

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