Less, But Better

In the 60s, 70s and even today, Braun was a powerhouse of forward design. They made products which were beautiful, easy-to-use, practical and timeless. Many of their products are considered pieces of art and you can find them in places such as MoMa in New York and Suntory Museum in Osaka. The Braun development team was led by Dieter Rams. He pioneered an approach to design which emphasized simplicity and elegance. He developed a manifesto for this approach in his 10 rules of good design. It boils down to a simple but incredibly powerful statement: “Weniger, aber besser”  which translates to Less, But Better.

This way of thinking asks: When can we take away? – in order to create a useful, honest, understandable and innovative product.

I apply this school of thought to strategy work. I believe that a good communication strategy is both an art and a science and should be carefully designed and executed. Otherwise, you just end up going through the same motions as everyone else in your industry and commoditizing your brand – bringing the purchasing decision down to features and price, with no hope for differentiation or loyalty. While marketing channels grow in number and complexity, the brands who embrace simplicity and brevity in their communications will stand out like beacons of salvation from clutter.

Internally, applying this approach can reduce expenses, improve productivity and spark innovation. By exercising strict focus on select few channels of engagement, communication teams have the opportunity to create a remarkable experience for your customers. Tight creative boundaries have for centuries propelled innovation. Just think, the iPod would have never happened unless the goal was to bring you “a thousand songs in your pocket”.

Looking at your own situation honestly, can you find ways to simplify things – in order to create space for innovation?

– Ernest // @ebarbaric

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