My last two posts have been about the phrase “simple is …” As I looked through my notes on this topic, I found one other thought that I wanted to share.
Simple is brand loyalty.
I wrote this down not thinking about how marketers achieve brand loyalty with their customers, but more so thinking about the decision process of a consumer that is brand loyal. Brand loyalty is a topic unto itself in business schools, text books, and each industry.
Life without brands
The ways to achieve it can become overly complex as they deal with systems, processes, psychology, and people. I wouldn’t consider building brand loyalty with consumers simple.
But what about the consumer who is brand loyal? Is their decision making process simple? If a consumer makes a repeat purchase without comparing prices or researching alternatives is that a simple transaction in their mind? I think to a certain degree it is. As a consumer I want simple. I value simple. I buy simple.
Now how do you achieve brand loyalty again?
Photo Credit : http://www.flickr.com/photos/53133240@N00/31247647 / CC BY-SA 2.0
Simple is one-click checkout. Less screens = less clicks = less confusion = more orders.
Simple is limited choices. Think retail models like Costco, that have sufficient variety but limit the number of manufacturers. Think the Google home page. They’ve left it simple when they could fill it with so much.
Simple is anonymous checkout. C’mon retailers, you have everything you need in a purchase to build a customer profile: Name, address, email, purchased products. Set password as an optional field for those visitors that want additional features such as order history, ship status, etc.
How many times have you heard “simple is more”? This is a recurring concept in my life right now. I’ve reached the stage where years of accumulating stuff is starting to impact me. Its seems I spend many of my waking hours replacing, repairing, returning, and refurbishing all the stuff in my life. I understand now the attraction of simplifying life by having and doing less.
But ‘simple’ has more application in our lives outside of possessions. Simple weaves in and out of our daily decisions and we don’t even realize it. We gravitate towards simple to make a task go quicker or because it requires less effort or thought. It is the way of lesser resistance and one the one that is easy to understand. But is it really that simple? Do we make choices in our lives spontaneously because of what we perceive to be simple? Is simple better?
I posted a request on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for people to complete the sentence “Simple is…..” I didn’t give any guidelines or additional constraints. @ReduxOnline responded with “Simple is the path most trodden.” That response captures the essence of the assertion that the simple path is used most because it offers the least resistance. From a commerce perspective that’s an attractive thing because merchants want to be in the space where the most buyers are located. @JebCashin responded with “Simple is as simple does.” This assertion is that we would know if something is simple based on the results. If simple is faster then it means it gets things done quicker. If simple is more then it means it get more of the desired result.
I’d like to explore “Simple is….” and how it relates to eCommerce, customer focus, and life. A few weeks ago I started some thoughts around simplifying business processes that serve as a good sounding board as well. If you have any thoughts on this send them to me. Now how simple is that?