Simple: Conquering the Crisis of Complexity

By Alan Siegel & Irene Etzkorn

Author Alan Siegal is the head of Siegel+Gale – a global brand strategy, design and experience firm. They are better known as ‘the simplicity company’.

Both Siegel and co-author Irene Etzkorn know from experience and research that:

. Simplicity performs:
The simplest global brands outperform the major brands by 433%

 . Simplicity builds loyalty:
61% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand because it’s simple

 . Simplicity earns a premium:
64% of consumers are willing to pay more for simpler experiences

 . Simplicity inspires:
62% of employees are considered brand champions in companies perceived to be simple.

They have also learnt that complexity costs. And it can leave tens of millions of dollars of lost revenue on the table.

The book provides loads of case studies of companies that have successfully embraced simplicity as a business strategy – think Apple with its coolly modernist iPhones, iPads and Mac Books; and Google, with its distinctive, pared-down home page, which has become synonymous with its brand.

Each of these companies has found that simplicity pays.

Although this book has been written for and from the corporate perspective, here are some of the take aways from the book that we have applied to the charitable sector:

On complexity:

. Too much information overwhelms donors

. Donors fight back and stop donating when a charity confuses them with a fog of fine print.  

. When internal jargon finds its way into fundraising communications, charities are talking about themselves … and not the impact their donors make.

What simplicity is:

. Cutting to what matters to the donor

. Delivering substantive and relevant content

. Speaking to an audience of one.

What simplicity does:

. Shortens the distance between the donor and the beneficiary

. Provides significant income generating benefits

. Improves the charity’s relationship with the donor.

The key to simplicity:

. Question all content and make sure it reflects reality

. Speak your donor’s language

. Talk to your donors in plain English.

As Leonardo Da Vinci pointed out, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” And it takes a touch of genius – and lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction. This book will help show you how.

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