Charles Mingus, the legendary jazz bassist once said:
“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”
The Roman orator Cicero said:
“Please forgive me for writing such a long letter, I didn’t have time to write a short one.”
I love both of these quotes and what they stand for: the elegance, meaning and power in simplicity. Both men, thousands of years apart, realised that the quest for simplicity was where real magic exists.
Interesting then that I saw an article recently on MyCustomer.com the other day which had the headline: “UK public willing to pay a premium for simpler customer experience – report”
This peaked my interest given that I had written about something similar in Giving your customers more choice is a good thing. Or is it? earlier this year. It also relay interested me as I am always keen to look for the simple and elegant insight, explanation, offer, service or otherwise in my work and life.
The article, and the report behind the article by Siegel & Gale, reinforces the point that in this world of increasing complexity that the quest for simplicity and not more choice is becoming more and more important in our lives and the minds of our customers.
The report defines simplicity as communicating something directly, clearly and honestly in a jargon-free way as well as making the use of something convenient, easy to use and something that saves people time.
Below are a couple of graphics that summarise the results:
If the images are not clear then you can get a copy of the full report here.
The results show that across the globe the retail, restaurant and entertainment industries are leading the simplicity charge with utilities and financial services bringing up the rear. However, with all of the talk of increasing competition and pressure on prices, the report also finds that firms that have simplicity at the heart of what they do, say and deliver are able to charge anywhere from 4.5% to more than 6% more for simpler messages and offerings.
For most firms this could be the difference between a loss-making position and being a market leader.
Who have you seen that has taken up the simplicity quest and is leading their market? I’d be interested in hearing your experiences in the comments below:
Thanks to Will Lion for the image.