2nd June 2012
The Simplicity Thesis and how to use it in your business to gain market share.
By Craig Connelly
Many of you may have heard of the Simplicity Thesis.
In this document the writer shows the reasons why leading companies with dominant products or services (and brands) lose market share to a smaller organisations, who have reinvented the same product or service in a more simplistic way that is not over complicated, easy to understand and cheaper or faster to use.
In other words they have made it easy to use at a cheaper cost.
The cost could be time, money or effort and the focus is to build ravings fans through making each step of dealing with your company pleasurable, fast and easy.
Arron puts it like this.
The only companies or products that will succeed now are the ones offering the lowest possible level of complexity for the maximum amount of value.
An example could be online credit card processing. For example Paypal versus a local banking institution.
With Paypal a person or a business can set up and be live in 5 minutes, whereas applying to a bank can take weeks and involves wading through reams of documents and then what seem to be excessive set up fees.
Paypal processors billions of dollars (and the commissions that accompany the transactions) annually with a very seamless system that is easily accessed by merchants and end users. Interestingly, after 15 years of losing market share, the banks still have a cumbersome application process.
Here is another example. Which one would you buy?
Tip No One. Identify the gaps
The way to identify these potential “gaps” is to analyse the process a customer goes through when using your products and services. An online poll can also assist in bringing to the forefront things that annoy your clients, such as not being able to buy online, not being able to contact the right people when things go wrong, having to pay by direct debit when credit card is more convenient, not understanding the invoice through too much jargon and so on.
Tip No Two. Remove the Clutter
The advice for business both existing and start up is remove unnecessary clutter and barriers for your client to reach the end goal and that is to use your service or product efficiently. Currently it feels like people are busier than ever before. The digital age has not had the affect that the soothsayers predicted, i.e the end of paper, the end of confusion and to make things easier and give us more time. Savvy organisations have identified this and built simplicity into their marketing with marked success.
Tip No Three. Talk to you Customers
How often do you talk with clients to get an idea of what you can do in your business to help them grow their business
Are your staff and customer service people trained to give you feedback both good and bad?
Do you have regular staff meetings to identify ways of reducing the level of complexity in your service or product offer? If not start today. Feedback from clients is the cheapest and most effective way to introduce simplicity to your business.
Tip No Four. Talk to your Suppliers
Do you meet with your suppliers regularly to see what new innovations they have that will help you reduce the level of complexity in your business and in turn to your clients
Does your supplier embrace the simplicity thesis, and is there a better supplier in the market that shares the same values and goals.
Tip No Five. Measure and Test
Don;t be embarrassed to ask fro help from clients. See if your simplicity has helped their lives and if so SELL that benefit to others.
Mrs ABC found our new widget is 10 times faster than our competitions which means less time on the phone for you Mrs Customer. Would you like a pack of 6 or 12?
Simplicity is a great marketing tool and is not used enough in the busy times we live in. Try it in your business, because if you don’t someone else will!
Keep it simple guys and if you need any ideas give us a ring and we can discuss it.