Simplicity in Messaging: Learning from Amazon and Nest
One of my favorite authors on "new marketing" is David Meerman Scott. One of his core "new rules of marketing" is to avoid "gobbledygook" -- or jargon that makes messages and positioning almost incomprehensible.
It's a hard thing for marketers to change, but simplicity in messaging is sorely needed. To see how it can be done, it's worth looking at two recent examples.
Amazon Positions Kindle Fire
When Amazon announced the Kindle Fire it posted a message at the top of its home page -- prime web real estate -- that struck me as conveying tremendously clear messaging and positioning.
It could have started better by personalizing the salutation -- after all it pioneered personalized web experiences. But overlooking that, it works so well because it positions them and their products very clearly without naming competitors and appeals to the cost-consciousness that is so acute among consumers today. The "work hard to charge customers less" bit is incredibly powerful.
Will it make me buy one of their products? No, because I'm in the competitor's target market and value the elegant experience. But, it's compelling.
Nest Clones Apple's Ethos
A friend and fellow tech geek first turned me onto Nest a month ago. For those unfamiliar, it's a new thermostat launched by two of the former Apple engineers responsible for the original iPod.
How can thermostats be exciting? By talking about it in a way that appeals to consumers' sense of lifestyle. Looking at the web site, it doesn't use any superlatives, technical jargon or hyperbole. The closest to that is the statement, "Meet the only thermostat that improves with time." Use of the word "only" usually is followed by hyperbolic statements, but in this case it is simply, "The Nest Learning Thermostat programs itself in a week to keep you comfortable and save energy."
Visualization is essential to pulling off simplicity in messaging as well, and the way Nest uses images, infographics, icons and videos allows it to get away with using so few words. It also tells a story everywhere on its site, one that helps me understand why I should consider spending $250 on a thermostat.
To me, this helps create a connection with potential customers as I know what this product will do for me. It also shows a precise understanding of Nest's buyer personas -- technophiles and early adopter types along with energy minded consumers.
In a recent Q&A with co-founder Matt Rogers, he spoke to how he and co-founder Tony Fadell instilled the Apple ethos of perfectionism in the company and its products. This perfectionism is clear in its messaging as well.
What do you think? Do the approaches that Amazon and Nest took appeal to you? What would you do differently?