Like Alan Mitchell, I was intrigued by Paddy Barwise’s seminar, Simply Better (MW September 30). But I was left nonplussed. Because “Simply Better” does not, in fact, argue that doing the basics well is more important than standing for something different. It acknowledges that differentiation is key to getting on the consideration set in the first place; once there, doing the basics “Simply Better” is key to continued preference. For the latter, read “satisfying customer needs”. So what’s new? For years, Landor has argued (and can prove) that difference and relevance are the pillars for meaningful, successful brands – differentiation being the distance you place between you and your rivals, relevance the proximity you nurture between your product/service attributes and your customer’s needs.
The point is, neither outweighs the other – they are interdependent. Difference for its own sake is futile and short-lived; relevance without differentiation is another way of saying “product” or “doing the basics” or “Simply Better”. In a nutshell, “Simply Better” is just another (differentiated?) way of saying “relevance”.