The KISS Principle and what it means for today’s Business

The “keep it simple stupid” (KISS) principle is a design rule that states that systems perform best when they have simple designs rather than complex ones. KISS is not meant to imply stupidity. On the contrary, it is usually associated with intelligent systems that may be misconstrued as stupid because of their simplistic design.

In current times when the race to monetize attention is getting faster and extremely cluttered with every one from a grocery delivery service to an airline having flash sale and vying to grab the same eyeballs , it is becoming increasing important to simplify a communication , have direct value attached to the message and define a unique value proposition .

Every Brand and every product is not only fighting for attention in its own category it is fighting with a whole universe of market. No customer has the time to go through lengthy technical jargon , long benefit statements derived from feature which will anyway change in few months for ex. If I were to hypothetically market a product to you wont it be better if I can tell you what current problem will it solve better than the competitor ?

Lets take for example , I happen to market Jetpack ! yes you heard it right Jetpacks ! Now would it make more sense to you if I tell you , that it is solar powered and does not need expensive power , and can get from home to office in say 20 minutes ( and trust me if you were to stay in a city like mine , where traffic jams are a way of life ) You would be very tempted to lap it up . On the other hand if I were to explain the circuitry and technology that I used and how it is better I would have lost 9 out of my ten most potential customers in first 5 seconds itself.

Lets look at a few other examples of communication and simplification of a value proposition . When looking to buy a car , especially a budget car the biggest consideration is mileage , cost of service / maintenance , and ease of finance. In a country like India we are definitely worried about the above , so look at what Maruti Suzuki did. They came up with a Kitna Deti heh campaign, where they show how a nation obsessed with mileage will ask the same question for a Space craft too . It struck a chord with the audience and the campaign was widely successful.

Lets look at a few others . Have you ever noticed marketing of Financial Products ? If you look at insurance products they very heavily focus on the emotion of fear. Most of them have a male protagonist , who is afraid of his own death and not being able to fulfill his responsibility as the head of a family , in walks someone with a policy and done !!! Most of them are a version of this only . And unless you are a media professional and have a interest in boring campaigns you will not remember the communication of one brand from another.

On the other hand look at a recent campaign done by DBS which was titled “Chilly Paneer” . It focused on the story of a young Couple and how the bank played a role in their relationship . A extremely refreshing concept as compared to traditional ones. Whether it was effective and impactful , I am not sure since it was restricted to very few social media channels.

So to summarise , Let me quote Albert Einstein: ‘If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.’ The art and science of communication lies in its simplicity and if also if it very clearly states a purposes or not. So whats the elevator Pitch here ?? Keep it simple Stupid ☺ find a value that customer needs and tell him what problem do you solve better !


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