Success thru simplicity, part 2: Creating brand value

This post is the second in a three-part series on achieving success thru simplicity. Part one focused on why simplicity is “sticky.” This part explains how simplicity creates brand value. Part three gives tips on how to achieve simplicity.

“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end, because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
— Steve Jobs

In the first post of this series, I touched on how achieving simplicity takes a lot of effort. But does that effort actually pay off in return on investment? The answer is a resounding “Yes!”, as proven by a very interesting study conducted by the Siegel + Gale agency called the Global Brand Simplicity Index. This annual study has proven year after year that simplicity pays from a brand and corporate value standpoint. The study of 12,000+ consumers ranks business results for over 500 brands based on how simple or complex their services, products or touch points are perceived to be.

Siegel + Gale Quote

  • Simple brands are recommended more: 70% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand because it provides simpler experiences or communications.
  • Simple brands are more valuable: a stock portfolio comprised of the 10 simplest brands significantly outperforms all major stock indexes.
  • Simplicity commands higher prices: 38% of consumers are willing to pay more for less complexity.

A case in point

Callahan Creek’s work for Trifexis (a canine parasiticide made by Elanco, the animal health division of Eli Lilly & Company) demonstrated how simplicity builds brand value and produces ROI. We worked within a complex set of regulations and legal parameters to deliver a simple, clear message across all media. But as the previous post in this series suggested, achieving simplicity is not simple. Through a series of pet owner interviews, we learned that pet owners were put off by the language complexity and esoteric vernacular that bog down most pharmaceutical marketing.

Trifexis graphicWe developed a campaign that cut through the clutter of pharmaceutical mumbo-jumbo and featured a simple, clear, memorable message of “3-in-1 protection.” That simple message was integrated throughout national television, online and print media, mobile, in-clinic merchandising, and the world’s first FDA-regulated animal pharma Facebook page.

The results? We helped Elanco exceed their sales goal by 35%, increase brand awareness by 48% in less than a year, and see a four-fold increase in the pre-campaign levels of traffic to This all resulted in a 293% return on their marketing investment in the first year. Trifexis is now the #1 prescribed canine combination parasiticide.*

That’s clear proof of how simplicity can produce outstanding brand value and great return on marketing investment.

Read part one in this series on why simplicity is “sticky.”

*Vet Insite Analytics. Based on total canine combination parasiticide product data (flea, tick, heartworm), 06/2014.

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