The Art of Minimalism in Marketing Communication
How minimalism can make your business more successful
Competition among companies is thriving more than ever. Many years ago, we had a few brands in the same industry who set the golden standard like Apple and Samsung but all of that changed. As a result of the rising literacy rates, development, and globalization, it’s become easier than ever to establish a business. industries became overflooded with companies that are always trying to outshine each other.
On their way to pursuing domination, they learned the importance of product differentiation which basically depends on the presentation aspect for the most part. They targeted all the communication channels including newspapers where they had to cram as many messages as possible in the limited space they could afford. As a result of companies' influx and these tactics, clutter in advertisements came to existence along with its different forms.
In the past few decades, technological advancement paved the way for new communication channels. Cluttering became unnecessary since we have more space and methods for sending our messages. However, these new forms resulted in an overload of messages for the average person which decreases the likelihood for them to remember what they were exposed to.
Branding and marketing experts began to wonder: “How could we still grab the attention of our target audience in the face of this flood?”
Well, one of the answers to that is taking the minimalist route where less is more. By reading this article, you’ll be able to learn about the art of minimalism and how to apply it to your brand!
Minimalism in a Nutshell
Image from awesomeinventions
Minimalism is a movement that first appeared in the mid-60s. It revolves around reducing things to their core elements whether it’s music, sculptures or paintings. Over time, it branched out of the art spectrum and became a lifestyle to many. People who embrace this lifestyle try to get rid of possessions they don’t need and keep the essentials. Minimalism found its way to branding and marketing and it’s become a trend in the past few years, especially among big brands.
Minimalism has dimensions other than just visual art, it could also be found in the taglines and one of the best examples of that is Nike with their iconic ‘Just Do It’ tagline or McDonald's ‘I’m Lovin It’ and you could probably list down a dozen more.
Now, how do you apply it to your own brand?
Knowing your Brand
Image from % Arabica
As we’ve discussed earlier, minimalism is about reducing things to their core element. Therefore, knowing your brand’s identity is crucial to determining how the concept could be applied. One of the best examples which we can learn from is % Arabica.
Kenneth Shoji, founder of the global coffee company stated in an interview that he always admired brands like Toyota and Sony, which made him pick Arabica as the brand’s name. He noticed how the ‘%’ signifies a coffee cherry and he decided to include that and this is how the logo looks like now.
As for the tagline, Kenneth Shoji believes that young people should increase their awareness and he likes to refer to it in Japanese as “Kenbun”, which means to see and hear.
Kenneth was able to establish his minimalistic logo and tagline because he has a concrete understanding of his brand’s identity which stems from his personality as Kenneth is a minimalist himself. He aspires to live a simple life with only the necessary things like food, clothes, and a house.
% Arabica is a perfect example that teaches us how minimalism and branding can go hand-in-hand.
Understand your Audience
Image from arabica.journal
Understanding your target audience is key to the success of your business.
If you have visited an % Arabica cafe, you’ll notice that there’s a similar vibe to Starbucks.
As you can see, both cafe chains are a common destination for younger people. It’s not just the coffee that attracts them, it's the overall experience. We all have that friend who’d post about their new kicks, their new designer brand shirt, or whenever they go to a modern-looking cafe like % Arabica.
Now, besides the vibes, why are there people who are attracted to minimalistic brands?
Well, most if not all big brands are associated with minimalism. We can see it in their logos, their shop designs, their taglines, they make it look and sound cool!
% Arabica isn’t as big as Starbucks but their minimalistic identity combined with their shop designs and excellent service managed to get them on the same hype train. People line in the dozens just to associate themselves with this new trending cafe brand!
Since you can execute minimalism in branding, why not also do the same in marketing?
Firstly, minimalism is all about less is more, constantly bombarding your audience with advertisements defeats the purpose. You need to come up with advertisements where you can deliver the message straightforward by eliminating as much clutter as you possibly can.
One of the best examples would be Apple’s Shot on iPhone campaign. If you take a look at their Instagram, most of the pictures that are selected to appear on their feed, are simple and straight to the point. Plus, they don’t flood their page with content as they only post a few times a week.
When it comes to how the message is delivered, every image they select comes with captions that are morphed around a story that encapsulates them perfectly which shows us how effective minimal storytelling is.
Minimalism is here to stay. People like minimal designs, it gives them a sense of exclusiveness as it's the characteristic of big brands.
Minimalism in branding could be applied in visual arts, music, typography and the same goes to marketing but it’s not just about using the least amount of elements, it’s about being creative with the least you have to deliver your message effectively.
If you decided to recreate your brand’s image or come up with an entirely new one, make sure that your designs reflect your brand’s essence, or else, it won’t represent the right identity of your company!
If you have any opinions on minimalism in marketing communication that you’d like to share or you need assistance in branding, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.