Brand Matters Series 01 - Smith

Brand Matters Series 01

Brand Matters Series 01

Brand Matters Series – Branding To Simplify

Brand Matters is a series of articles educating owners, leaders and investors on why investing in brand can transform your organisation. From our experience, brand, especially in the mid-market isn’t understood as well as it is in larger companies.

In this article, we’re talking about simplicity and how branding can simplify things for your business. This will be relevant for you if some of the following pain points resonate:

– You find it difficult to articulate what you do

– Customers are confused about what you do

– Your sales team aren’t creating much traction

– You have a lot to say as a company, but find it hard to keep it simple

– You have lots of products or services and struggle to clarify your offer

– You have different products and services that serve different audiences

We speak to many SMEs, and 95% of the time they are rarely looking at their business like a customer. Even if they are, they aren’t the customer, so they see it with a biased view.

As David C Baker mentions “We’re all in a jar, and we can’t even read the label.”

Because of this, we tend to overcomplicate how we communicate to the market.

Are you complicating things? Are customers not sure what you do? Or are staff struggling to communicate what you do to prospects?

Maybe you need to simplify things.

Much of the work we do with clients is unravelling complexity and radically simplifying.

Cleaning things up, making things make sense, and packaging propositions so they are clear, and easier to sell.

Simplicity works. It drives profitability and efficiency – here are a few reasons how.


Behaviour Change

In pretty much any marketing-related activity, we are trying to change some form of behaviour.

Whether it’s buying, buying more, or switching from one company to another. Behaviour change is easier to influence when there’s less friction.

Making things simple helps drive behaviour.

It’s banks saying they’ll transfer your direct debits if you switch.

It’s using Uber over a normal taxi.

It’s Amazon’s one-click checkout.

It’s Monzo’s feature to split the bill with friends.

One ex-advertising man even installed a press-for-champagne button in his newly purchased bar.

What do you think happened to sales?

Read more about this here.


Press For Champagne


Simple Cuts Through

The brain is a filtering machine. According to the American Marketing Association, we are estimated to take in 10,000 messages every day. We’re information-rich, but time-poor.

Keeping things simple helps attract attention.

Think of Apple’s advertising for the iPod – ‘1000 songs in your pocket’

It’s the new advertising campaign for British Airways by Uncommon Studio.


British Airways Advertising


Make Choice Easy

As a business, you’re always presenting your audience with choices. Whether it’s services or products, different businesses, your website navigation, your brochure, or options in a sales presentation.

The less people have to think, the easier it is to make a decision.

In a famous behavioural science study, researchers wanted to see if less choice improved sales.

They ran two experiments in a grocery store. Initially, they presented 6 jars of jam to customers.

In the second experiment, they presented 24.

Their research found that 60% of customers were interested in the shelf with 24 jams, but only 3% purchased. Compare this to 40% of customers who were interested in the limited choice (6 jams), but 30% made of these customers purchased.

Read the research paper here.


How can you simplify?

Here are a few examples of simplification that we uncovered in the branding process. Interestingly, all of these points weren’t actually in the original brief. It’s what we recommended based on our learnings.


Naming To Simplify

Digital 2000 approached us to help them rebrand. We felt their name didn’t really reflect who they were. We helped them define what they did as ‘your strategic buying partner’ as they essentially help clients consolidate their purchases. Then we gave them a new name, that better articulated what they were all about.

Your name is something that’s used a lot. Does your name work for your business?


Digital 2000 Rebrand


Branding To Simplify Your Offer

Actiform approached us with 3 different names and logos for 3 different departments. The names made sense at the time, but as time went on – it was confusing inside the business and more importantly to the outside world.

We simplified how they presented themselves. One name, one identity.

Do you have different businesses and struggle to present them?


Actiform Rebrand


What are the effects of simplification after a branding exercise?

From our extensive experience working with SMEs on rebranding exercises, we’ve seen regular patterns and effects after branding has simplified things. Here are but a few:

– People just ‘get’ what you do

– Selling is easier

– People refer work to you – as they are clear about what you do

– Customers buy more as they are clear on what you do

– Staff find it easier to articulate what you do

– There’s less money wasted on irrelevant marketing



1 – The first rule in marketing is as soon as you work within an organisation, you don’t see it like a customer.
What can you do to get an outsiders view?

2 – Stop and think. Look at your marketing activity, and if you were absolutely brutal about it. To someone who sees it for the first time – does it make sense?

3 – Stop using industry jargon. It might make sense to you, but does it make sense to others?

4 – If you can’t explain what you do in a paragraph – you have a branding problem.


In our next article, we’ll be talking about branding to frame value.

Any questions or if you’d like to book in a chat, give me an email on



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