What’s simplicity got to do with it?

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Planning for Valentine’s Day isn’t really that difficult—call 1.800.FLOWERS, buy some luscious Godiva chocolates and find a Hallmark card that perfectly expresses your enduring love.

In my humble opinion, Valentine’s Day is a breeze compared to the hard work of keeping romance alive. I’ve been married for 25 years, and I still need a refresher course every now and then—why else would my wife email me a link to a Cosmopolitan magazine article that offers 23 ways to “jump-start” her heart? Suffice to say that I figured it out on my own.

As it turns out, I’m not the only one who believes that developing—and sustaining—a strong bond between two people takes a lot of time and effort. In Siegel+Gale’s 2011 Global Brand Simplicity Index™, romance was seen as the most complicated of all relationships in the United States, as well as in India and the Middle East. I hope that Cupid’s quiver contains many extra arrows for those respondents who find rough seas when navigating romantic relationships.

While falling—and staying—in love may be complicated, technology can play a big role in keeping relationships simple. It’s easy to stay in touch and reinforce personal ties by sharing photos and videos online. Social networks cut both ways, making it easier to connect with our loved ones but also contributing to complexity with an implied demand to be “always on.” Consider the consequences of not replying immediately to an “I love you” text from your girlfriend or boyfriend on Valentine’s Day, or any other day for that matter.

Today’s brands are constantly seeking ways to deepen their relationships with consumers. Strengthening these bonds leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. So what exactly do brands need to do? And to paraphrase the eight-time Grammy Award-winner and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Tina Turner, what’s simplicity got to do with it?

Simply stated, the companies that effectively employ simplicity tend to come out on top. The wisdom of their approach is reflected time and again in their market share and stock performance.

The bottom line is that nobody wants a complicated relationship—not in romance, and certainly not in business. Those organizations that employ simplicity succeed by getting out of their own way and, in doing so, drawing customers closer.

There’s nothing like Valentine’s Day to bring people together. And there’s nothing like simplicity to help consumers navigate their way through an increasingly complicated world.

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