Sonder | This might offend some of you
Minimalism when it comes to marketing is rare. Perhaps brands can do more to adopt the principles of minimalism and say more in the process.
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This might offend some of you

This might offend some of you

Minimalism; an artistic style, an interior decorating theme and ultimately a way of life. It is an expression of freedom and courage.  Freedom from the extraneous and the superfluous.

But, let’s face it, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.  Some find it cold, stark, dull and mildly offensive.

Regardless of liking the aesthetic or not, it takes courage to resist the urge to add more to brands. As Joshua Becker, an advocate of minimalism says, “it is marked by clarity, purpose, and intentionality.  At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it”.

There is an elegance to minimalism that can be at odds with today’s mass marketing world. But, could brands benefit from taking a more minimalist approach? We believe yes. So, how would a more minimalist approach to marketing look?

The minimalist brand will:

  • Have a clarity of purpose
  • An achievable vision that excites people
  • A small set of values to live by (i.e. 3 in total)
  • A disintegrated, but united approach to communications across bought/owned/earned channels.  No transmedia in sight.
  • An inside-out approach to communications (owned media first).  Get your own backyard in order before going out in bought and earned media

A minimalist brand won’t:

  • Have too much in the way of brand onions, positioning territories, archetypes, temples, pyramids etc.
  • Jump at every new trend
  • React to competitor actions
  • Try to say too much to people who listen too little
  • Take a ‘shock and awe’ approach to media buying

What does this mean for marketers who want to create a more minimalist approach?  Well it doesn’t mean doing away with everything your brand represents and communicates, it means taking a conscious approach to eliminating the extraneous things done to make the business feel better.

So where’s the evidence this is a better approach than jamming more into what you do? Unfortunately, there is no empirical evidence we could find to suggest a more minimalist approach to marketing will deliver better results. Most likely because no one has been able (or been bothered) to study a minimalist approach in the context of marketing (if you’ve heard of any studies, we would love to hear about them!)

Minimalism requires an open minded view of how we make marketing decisions. Are you adding clutter to your brand simply as a professional safety blanket?  Sometimes it’s hard to ask this of yourself and your teams, but then minimalism is about simple, not easy.

Ironically, this has been one of our longest blog posts!