The answer almost always comes down to the same basic principle: keep your message simple and avoid unnecessary complexity.
The acronym KISS stands for “Keep It Simple, Stupid” and is a principle that works on the basis that the most effective marketing is kept simple rather than made complicated. Other variations on the phrase include “keep it short and simple”, “keep it simple and straightforward” and “keep it small and simple”. Whatever the wording, the principle remains the same and in today’s fast paced environment – where we are exposed to thousands of messages on a daily basis – the clearer your message, the more chance you have of getting noticed.
Popular assumption is that the KISS principle implies stupidity because of the “stupid” at the end, but that’s really not the case. In the design context, KISS is often used to explain intelligent systems that purposefully adopt a simplistic design.
The principle is attributed to Kelly Johnson, an aircraft engineer in the mid-1900s. He built his career by designing aircraft that could be easily repaired by an average mechanic, knowing that, if one of his aircraft broke down in the field, it would be very unlikely there would be a highly skilled aircraft mechanic with speciality tools available to fix it. Johnson’s simple designs earned him the reputation of being one of the most talented and prolific aircraft designers in the history of aviation.
So, when you want to get your business noticed through effective design and marketing today, the key point is not to confuse your audience with multiple, complicated messages that get easily lost.
Here are 3 key ways to keep things simple:
1. Focus on the benefits
Always be clear about translating the features of your products and / or services as benefits for your audience and let them know how this will ultimately improve their lifestyle.
2. Keep to the point
Identify your audience’s needs and talk straight on how your products and services can solve their problems. Use laymen terms and avoid any jargon.
3. Less is more.
A picture is worth a thousand words, so a well-placed, meaningful image can quickly communicate the key benefits of your products and / or services.
Remember, a general rule of thumb is that you have less than seven seconds to engage with prospective customers, so the KISS principle is vital in creating that ever important first impression, getting your brand recognised and getting your message across!