Peter Kay and the power of simplicity

power of simple

Watching Peter Kay’s new series ‘Car Share’ this week, and marveling at the comedic genius he, and his fellow writers, achieved from such a simple format reminded me how much we crave simplicity these days. Simplicity as a brand philosophy has been around for decades. Take Coca Cola, Apple and others as obvious examples. But it’s becoming more relevant than ever.

We’ve just completed a series of B2B customer interviews for a client looking to improve their engagement strategies. I couldn’t wait to hear what would get this particuarly audience excited. Their collective feedback came as no surprise. Simplicity.

It’s little wonder. Their (and our) lives have become over communicated. We are dominated by technology. We are bombarded by choices, content, emails, whitepapers, ebooks for this that, visual clutter, non-specific platitudes and the like. As marketers we are under pressure to think volume and cost efficiency. Some might say it’s destroying our instincts to properly engage.

‘Don’t email me, I get thousands’, the participants said.  ‘Don’t send me print my desk is swamped’ others said. But get a little closer and share content with them that’s close to their hearts, presented in a supremely simple way and attitudes soon start to shift.

Getting pulses racing

Anyone who’s been in marketing for the entire digital era will know what has changed but equally importantly, what hasn’t. Simple, relevant messaging based on a clear understanding of the customer mindset executed beautifully always did, and always will get pulses racing.

Is it any surprise that Amazon became so successful? They have a simple focus; ‘to be Earth’s most customer-centric company where people can find and discover anything they want to buy online.’ This and their effortless purchasing experience has transformed their fortunes. It’s also fundamentally raised our expectations of how simple should be. (Adverse competitive impact notwithstanding.)

It’s a brutal attention to detail

Simplicity is not easy. It requires a brutal attention to detail that belies the end result. What not to do is as important as what to do, and that’s hard when it means shelving some of your best work or ideas. It can also mean, at times, improving customer proximity through more segmentation and that’s costly.

But when all’s said and done, taking everything you want to do and then simplifying it for the customer seems a good strategy in today’s environment. Less is more. Successful brands, old and new, know this. Apple, Amazon, Coco Chanel and Peter Kay to boot.


Karen Woodhead
Brand Director, 12 Miles North


About 12 Miles North

We work with brands of all sizes to find their authentic selves and write their stories. We combine deep customer and product knowledge with strong ideas, powerful creativity and exquisite execution to cut through the most overcrowded of markets. We produce beautiful work that gets fledgling brands on their feet and gives iconic brands back their soul.

For more information about how we might help your brand, please contact us.

Telephone: 01226 767025

By |2016-10-30T14:25:13+00:00May 1st, 2015|B2B, Brand strategy, Ideas, Internal branding, Motivation|0 Comments