2010 Marketing Trend: Simplicity Makes the Buying Decision Easier

A article in USA Today leading the money section on October 28 introduced us to the powerful marketing mantra for 2010, simple is better. The graphic which leads the article asks via multiple choice, how many ingredients are in a scoop of Haagen-Daz’s Simple 5 coffee ice cream. The answer is five.

If 2009 effective marketing message was about buying stuff cheap then this new trend will most likely build on that foundation. For example, my co-speaker on the Apartment All Star Tour is Lisa Trosien. All year she has been reminding us to follow the trends of major brands such as Subway with the $5 footlong. Leave it to Lisa to even sing the jingle on stage. This is a perfect example of trying to sell twelve inches of sandwich pretty cheap and keeping things simple by not making the pricing complicated.

When you keep things simple, you create a tangible reason to buy a product or service. For starters, it is easier to understand. Next, it helps build confidence that nothing is hidden or unexpected. This is what you get, just 5 ingredients that you can pronounce. A strong message in a food industry that has mass production.

I was working with a client today trying to work on removing reasons why someone would not rent from us. One thing is that it is a complicated formula to figure out what you have to do and what you owe if you break your lease agreement. Sure, the formula seemed like a good idea at the time, after all, we don’t want them breaking their leases. Yet now, in a economy where job growth is non existent, people want to know what the obligation will be if they get laid off. We decided to roll back to yesteryear where we asked for 60 days notice, one months rent cancel fee and payback their concession. Still some meaningful money, but much easier to understand.

What else should we simplify?