One trend Allidura Consumer, a Syneos HealthTM company, has been watching closely is how people are embracing simplicity—in ways big and small. Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up is one of the first ways we saw this topic go mainstream, and it shows no signs of slowing down. According to the Simplicity Index, more than 64 percent of consumers are more likely to recommend or pay more for a brand if it offers simpler experiences. Why you ask?

In today’s 24/7 world, people are looking to save time – to get from point A to point B in the shortest, quickest way possible (Waze, anyone?) – so they can focus on what’s most important to them. If companies want to make an impact, they need a quick (and meaningful) entry point – one that will help make life easier but not disrupt people’s already busy lives. Think about it. If a new product complicates instead of simplifies your life, you’re not likely to recommend it to others. So what does this mean for marketers?

Whether you’re a food and beverage company, retail store or pharmaceutical company, simplicity must be an essential component of your communications strategy, and everyday vernacular. And it must be authentic to your brand voice (obviously!).

Here are some of our favorite examples. Who knows – maybe they’ll inspire your next campaign!

  • PUT SIMPLY. And not just with words. Healthcare can be a challenging topic full of acronyms, complex terms and confusing medical jargon. Health insurance plans can add to this complexity, and providers are looking to streamline the online experience for consumers, particularly for the 10,000 baby boomers who become eligible for Medicare each day. Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare health plan website  offers easy online enrollment; a Medicare Learning Center with checklists, FAQs and video library; and search function to find in-person seminars – all housed in a straightforward design with simple navigation anyone can follow. It’s a reassuring contrast for users daunted by this life stage and overwhelmed by other websites riddled with complex terminology and poor user experience. Kaiser’s site is one of 14 to receive “top benchmark” status from the Medicare WebWatch national certification.
  • RESTRUCTURE, LOSE THE CHAOS. Smartly-designed planners, like Simplified® by Emily Ley, can turn your daily chaos into swan-like elegance. Ley’s aesthetically pleasing tools provide easy prompts to help users focus and conquer their daily schedule, as well as list home to-dos and family obligations in one place. And the brand’s digital channels amplify and reinforce this by sharing creative ideas for decluttering distractions and organizing the most important things in your life. How can this apply to healthcare? Medications with stringent dosing schedules, for instance, could look to organized-driven brands for inspiration and/or partnership opportunities to help audiences fit their products into their lives seamlessly.
  • EASY AS 1, 2, 3. In the era of Blue Apron, Stitch Fix and Amazon Prime, there is no shortage of services that people pay for to simplify everyday tasks. Brands are noticing and finding creative ways for their consumers to “hack” mundane experiences. We loved a 2016 example from Ikea, in which the company sold Lovkit  cooking kits online to help people celebrate Valentine’s Day. Ikea ranked #5 on the 2017 Global Brand Simplicity Index so it’s not surprising these kits were “on-brand” with simple tools, ingredients and assembly instructions. And they helped people impress loved ones with delicious food without too much hassle—a delicious, life hack!
  • AT YOUR FINGERTIPS. Starbucks’ redesigned mobile app has received kudos for its simple interaction and highly personalized user experience. Common purchases are easy to reorder and stored information results in special offers, discounts and coupons. So if you drink mostly decaf, Starbucks will promote a new decaf option on its app when you enter its store—a useful prompt. This approach is paying off  with more store visits and spend.

About the Author:

Rose Anna Kaczmarcik, MPH, has more than ten years of experience in healthcare communications. Her public health mindset has proven invaluable to consumer, pharmaceutical, biotech, and non-profit organizations looking to reach and engage key influencers. She has extensive experience with corporate social responsibility (CSR), stakeholder engagement and public health advocacy. Rose Anna has a background in chemistry and healthcare ethics and received a Master of Public Health from Boston University.