The other morning I woke up bright and early to attend a networking event modeled on the concept of speed dating.
After ample amounts of caffeine I was ready for the repartee. My first date was with an enthusiastic entrepreneur named Esther. After chatting about her business for a few minutes, Esther pulled out a copy of her new brochure like a proud pageant mom.
It didn’t take long to see that Esther’s brochure broke all the rules. There was too much text, the layout was busy, and the messaging was muddled.
How can you avoid Esther’s marketing mishap? Simplify your writing, keep your design clutter free and stay on message.
Simplify Your Writing
William Zinsser author of On Writing Well say’s “Clutter is the disease of American writing. We are a society strangling in unnecessary words, circular constructions, pompous frills and meaningless jargon.”
Read a little Hemingway and you’ll immediately grasp the power of simplicity.
Considered one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, Ernest Hemingway was famous for writing in short, declarative sentences. In fact, when challenged to write a story in six words Hemingway wrote: “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
Zinsser’s advises writers to look for clutter and prune their writing ruthlessly.
Keep Your Design Clutter Free
Bang and Olufsen’s chief designer, David Lewis once said, “Truly elegant design incorporates top-notch functionality into a simple, uncluttered form.” Amen brother.
Good design is clean, simple and clutter free. It’s quiet, confident and commanding without trying too hard.
Need a visual? Check out the Eames Molded Plywood Chair. Recently hailed as the best design of the 20th century by Time Magazine, this modern masterpiece is timeless, sleek and simple.
Stay on Message
All of your marketing materials should articulate your brand’s positioning. A brand positioning statement defines what makes your business unique, why consumers would want to do business with you, and how you wish to be perceived. Your brand positioning statement should be unique, narrow, clear, and consistent.
Would love to hear from you on common marketing mishaps and ideas for better branding.
Peace, love and powerful press.