Minimalism. For some this word evokes the need to sell everything they own except for one set of kitchen utensils, a laptop and a pillow to sit on. In the world of design, it means to strip away design elements to the barest essentials. For example, Apple is iconic for its refreshing, streamlined brand that customers love. But, does this mean minimalism is right for your business?
We know that a cluttered website can deter even the most determined customers from choosing you. But, does this mean you need to go on a detox and narrow your message down to a few words and a couple of images? That depends on your Intent.
Intent: “the thing that you plan to do or achieve: an aim or purpose” (Merriam-Webster, 2015).
Minimalism: “a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme sparseness and simplicity” (Merriam-Webster, 2015).
Minimalism with intent plays a role in defining your business values and message. For example, brands that value modernity and corporate appeal are well suited to the minimalist look. On the other hand, companies that want to convey more warmth or sense of character may find the minimalist look stifling. These are not clear-cut distinctions as Apple’s modern approach appeals to youth. It incorporates a playful attitude, especially notable in Apple commercials. Therefor, it is your target market that defines your brand, but intent drives forward a specific plan to achieve a goal.
To achieve your goals, we need to move away from trend driven marketing strategies to intent based ones. This drives diversity, creativity and a desire to deliver a clear and concise message to your target market. If you do not have a clear message, call-to-action or vision, this will provide a disconnect to your audience.
Here’s what you need to focus on:
- Who is your target market? Are they 18-24, 65+? Do they own a house, boat and vacation home, or are the scraping by on ramen and living with 5 other guys? Age, gender, social status, wealth, where they live, what they like to do and so on play a big role on how you deliver your marketing messages.
- What does your brand represent? Are you fun loving, provide the healing touch, caring, elitist, responsible? Each of these traits will lead you in a very different direction and provide intent behind your marketing.
- What is your objective? Be specific. Aside from your overall business objective, ask yourself what your objective is each time you update your blog, or need an ad designed. Ensure that it connects with your overall business image, goals and target market.
So before you sell all your stuff, minimalize your website, ads and everything else you can think of, answer the above questions to determine if this fits your overall business values and whether its something your target market prefers. As a result, you will provide a clear message to your target that is consistent with your brand.
Written By: Kim Thomas