7 Principles of Simplicity

Freemans and its sub-brands used to send 9 million agency statements per year. I redesigned the stationery to use smaller paper and fewer ink colours, which saved the company £500K p.a. Success depended on my ability to simplify and communicate a complex process for stakeholders across the UK, both inside and outside the business.

For an HR project, I drew up simple service level agreements that resulted in improved performance and working relationships between creative and marketing departments. They were still in use years later.

One season, Freemans home shopping decided to send a snazzy folder out with each catalogue – but the lead time to print the folders turned out to be longer than expected. As a result, the catalogue was issued 13 days late, costing the company £1m per day in lost sales. I was tasked with ensuring the next season’s catalogue went out on time. Under intense scrutiny from the Board, I achieved this goal without a hiccup, by simplifying the catalogue issue process and improving communications between key stakeholders.

These are among the experiences that led to me identifying 7 principles that underlie simplicity, especially in marketing communications. My keynote talk explains what they are and gives a methodology you can use to simplify your own communications.

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