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Is Less Always More?

Is Less Always More?

I have heard the three words “less is more” countless times in my life. I guess you did too! It has never failed to astonish me with the extent of truth these simple words hold. A phrase that was made known by the architect Mies van der Rohe more than a century ago still shapes the world around us till this day.

Even though a lot might disagree and say more is always more, they will always be confronted by “minimalism”, the modern ethic that brought together art and techniques in architecture the old days, still brings them together in marketing and branding now.

         Whether you know it or not, you have most probably seen it, and it is more probable that you’ve always had a reaction to it. Minimalism never leaves neutral.

Have a look at this poster and think for a moment!

Now tell me, what do you feel? How likely are you to show it or tell a friend about it? What did you first say when you grasped the message?

Whatever your answers might be to these questions, and many more, it has made an impression. And that is what minimalism does. With very few words, a very simple design and one color, they have said a thousand words.

Minimalism also finds its way to many of our favorite brands, but why?

1.      It grabs attention:

It is clear that there’s a brand and marketing cluster. Billboards are everywhere. Brands are all over the market. It’s an attention war.

Take a look at this KitKat print ad. White, and two chocolate bars. Yet, if you imagined yourself driving or walking around the streets, you’d have no difficulty recognizing the ad, nor the brand.

In 2008, when this campaign ran, Nestle’s F&B was able to increase sales with 2.2%, with organic growth of 8.3%, which was an above-the-target increase to them.

2.      It’s “almost” timeless:

The less elements you use, the less likely they are to run out of date.

Look at that FedEx campaign.

Are maps or windows likely to run out of date? Well, I personally don’t believe so. However, through the use of two minimal, almost timeless components, you can understand what they want to say, right?

This ad was published in April 2010 in Brazil and the USA. The two countries have been suffering from a recession for years. Even though FedEx’s numbers were slowing down, the quarterly growth jumped from 6.93% at the end of quarter 1 to 20.07% vvy by the end of quarter 2.

3.      It’s Adaptable and a cross-platform friendly tool:

Looking at this McDonald’s ad, can you imagine it as a poster? An Instagram Post? Facebook Post? What about an Out-of-Home Ad?

The simpler the visuals and components of a message, the more adaptable they become, and the more consistency it gives to your brand or campaign.

McDonald’s published this ad in November 2009 in Australia, and the minimalist approach in the campaign contributed to an increase in revenues from 22.75% by the end of 2009 to 24.08% in 2010.

Now it’s your Turn.

Let us know how you see minimalism and your favorite minimalist brand in the comments. 

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