In today's always-on world, bigger is typically better and more of everything is always best. Yet, global branding firm Siegel+Gale is noticing a cultural shift towards simplification. Starbuck's latest Flat White product, for instance, contains few ingredients, Subway's Simple Six menu, and McDonalds is paring back its options. "Consumers desire it and brands are increasingly espousing it in campaigns and tag lines," says Christopher Stella, Senior Marketing Director, Siegel+Gale.
For the first time, Siegel+Gale is creating a video series called “Simplifiers" to shed light on this trend and inspire others to explore the benefits of simplification. "The Simplifiers series emerged from the desire to show how simplicity transcends big business," says Stella. "We want to facilitate a conversation about the importance and transformative power of simplicity in today’s complex world. Sharing stories about how individuals (not large companies) are transforming their industries by embracing simplicity is a fresh approach that we think most people can relate to."
This movement consists of five one-on-one video interviews of innovators, entrepreneurs and artists who see simplicity as the driving force behind their creativity, craft or business. The first in the series kicks off with a profile of Antonio Ciongoli, Creative Director at Eidos Napoli, followed by five more innovators, spanning fashion, photography, and the art of surfing. "None of the people interviewed in our Simplifiers videos are affiliated with Siegel+Gale—their only association is that they agreed to be interviewed. We have no commercial relationship with them. We’re not looking at simplicity through the lens of commerce, building prospective partnerships, etc. Through this series, we want to shine a spotlight on inspiring people who strive for “simple” in their own way, every day—whether it be to make their patrons happy, or create something beautiful."
This project is designed to illustrate the agency's core ethos. "We’re known as "the simplicity company", because the brand experiences we build for clients are created through the lens of “simplicity”—which we define as being unexpectedly fresh and remarkably clear," says Stella. "Through years of experience and customer research, we've been able demonstrate that simplicity pays for companies—brands that provide simple experiences garner greater customer loyalty, increase employee innovation, and ultimately gain more revenue."
And while executives hope this project will attract new business, they say they really want to start a deeper conversation about the power of simplicity beyond big brands.
"Success in this case isn’t a target number of views, or video shares, etc," says Stella. "Rather, it’s seeing people engage in the conversation about the importance of simplicity, and sharing how they are arbiters of simplicity in their respective fields. If people view themselves as a simplifier in their discipline, we want to hear from them—we’d like to tell their stories as well."
The agency sees this as an on-going series that will appear on the Siegel+Gale blog—along with extended transcriptions of the interviews—and on its YouTube channel. "We encourage people who are inspired by the topic to share these videos," says Stella. "We want to facilitate the conversation, and espouse the message that in a complex world, striving for simplicity is important."