TBT: Six marketing leaders talk simplicity

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Behind every brand delivering simpler experiences for customers is a leader who recognizes the inherent value in keeping things simple.

Last year I interviewed marketing leaders and founders of brands that have performed well in our Global Brand Simplicity Index to better understand their views on simplicity. Here is what these “simplifiers” had to say.

Lorraine Twohill, CMO of Google

  • We think a lot about how we reduce friction and pain for users. All the complexity can be behind the scenes, but the user experience should be simple. We need to get people what they’re looking for fast. Simplicity is a core part of that promise.

Tony Hsieh, Founder of Zappos

  • Zappos creates simple experiences by leaving it up to customer loyalty representatives to do whatever they can do to wow the customer. That’s a pretty simple approach.

Norman De Greve, CMO of CVS Health

  • Simplicity is at the core of every decision we make…If you don’t have clarity of purpose, and you aren’t clear on your brand differentiator, then you get people who are trying to create simplicity but are moving in different directions. That doesn’t feel simple to the customer. Purpose needs to guide every decision you make.

John Costello, CMO of Dunkin’ Brands

  • Simplicity means focusing on those things that are most compelling to your consumer and your company…Saying “no” to what is not important is as important as saying “yes” to the right things.

Kevin Krone, CMO of Southwest Airlines

  • Simplicity is critical to us for a couple of reasons. If you add complexity in terms of rules and regulations for employees, it makes them less productive and friendly—and that impacts the customer experience. As an operator, we want to be as simple as possible because complexity adds cost, which affects our ability to operate.

Andy Yost, CMO of Gannett

  • I lead as a simplifier by setting clear goals, communicating frequently and in an empowering way, and empowering everyone on my team to be a part of the solution… We need the best ideas, and we need highly engaged employees to develop them. Through empowering folks to make decisions, we can create better, simpler customer experiences. 

Stay tuned, our 2017 Global Brand Simplicity Index is coming out January 25th.

Margaret Molloy is Global CMO and Head of Business Development at Siegel+Gale. Follow her on Twitter: @MargaretMolloy 

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