Easy Is Difficult

Methods behind decent products or services tend to be complicated. Expertise, innovation and development create new processes and approaches worth buying.

That doesn’t mean that communications about a product or service should be difficult to understand. A marketer’s job is to make it easy for people to understand products and services. In fact, the value of x should be obvious.

Yet, when we consider complex offerings created by ourselves and our companies, we struggle to find that simplicity. In fact, we are insulted by simplistic descriptions, as if they devalue the weeks, months and years invested into creating our effort.

Don’t fool youself.

In the attention economy no one has time for you to explain things. People cannot afford to invest weeks, days or even an hour learning about your effort. Outreach must be obvious and factual, clearly communicating the outcome that people will receive.

Easy extends beyond the marketing. An easy message coupled with a difficult product or services equals a dissapointed customer.

Ideally, the product is easy to use. One thing I love about Fuelband is how a technology that involves several complex elements is so easy to use. It’s well explained. Fuelband is obvious to me, and doesn’t waste my time with why the technology works. I really don’t care. It just does. That makes it easy.

How many things do you buy that are hard to understand?

Easy to understand, easy to use may seem trite and obvious. Yet, so few companies and communicators achieve this goal. Easy is difficult.

What do you think?

Image by Brettm8.

12 Replies to “Easy Is Difficult”

  1. Distilling down to easy is the most challenging task ever – in product design, interface design, and message design. Obscurity is the order of the day for about 95% of what’s out there. There will always be a market for simple and clear – sometimes we don’t need another idea, we just need an idea about how to keep it simple!!!!

    1. So true, and yet it is funny how we always seem to escape this timeless truth. I suppose that’s human nature! Hope you are doing well, Steve!

  2. removing excess and cutting down to a clear, concise message that makes sense to the audience is challenging (yet some of the most fun!) work. Steve Jobs says it best: ‚ÄúSimple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple…”

    1. Jobs was the master of making difficult things easy. Now iTunes has become a bit unweildy, but no one can shoot for 100% all the time. Great quote.

  3. Funny because I was just thinking about this very topic this morning re a client technology and how HARD it is to communicate it so simply. Really hard. It’s been our longest running topic in weekly meetings. and I marvel at how well these guys did it: https://onlycoin.com/

    1. I love how their message literally focuses on making the most complex thing easier. I literally have a money clip to avoid these types of situations. Very good example.

  4. Man, this definitely hits home for me. We are in the process of finetuning our product to take it to market. We are in this exact phase of things. It is difficult to strip down the message to only what the user needs. We get so excited about all the neat things it can do that we want to tell you everything! Great post Geoff!

    1. See, you get it! This is the trap! And while we think our enthusiasm is shared, it often is not. Oh well!

    2. Same problem I’m having with a particular client – trying to hone it down to the key thing that matters to the customer/client is harder than it sounds. Because it does this too! and that! but what about what about that other thing, too?

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