CVP Blog - Recent

The Power of Simplicity

Some of today's most successful companies rely on one important principle: Simplicity. Brands like Apple, Google, IKEA and Starbucks have been successful due, in large part, to marketing themselves with simple and easy-to-understand messages and products.

These companies sell themselves as helping simplify life for their customers. Consider Apple's user-friendly tech products and Starbucks' mobile application. Both of these companies have remained current while also being careful not to veer from their promise to simplify the consumer experience.

So how does this simplicity principle translate to education around recycling?

We often try to squeeze a lot of content into our messages to residents, whether through facts, pictures, stories, etc. But if we can learn from some of the most successful brands of the decade, it's that we need to simplify our brand to build loyalty. Not only does this mean creating an easy to understand message with basic graphics and minimal copy, it means resisting the urge to add tons of bells and whistles, as well as information. Below are five ways you can "unclutter" your recycling message.

  1. Relate directly to your residents needs and wants. Your simple message needs to speak to why recycling will make their life better and why they should care.
  2. Make it convenient. Whether it's through social media, a direct mailing or in person, make sure your education efforts are convenient, easy to digest and that they don't have to go out of their way to get more information.
  3. Honor feedback. You should be communicating regularly with your residents to determine what strategies are working and which get lost in the everyday shuffle.
  4. Learn to say no. Resist the urge to constantly update your brand or messages and add new features. Your main message should stand the test of time, or at a minimum, a few months or the year, without need constant tweaking. If you are tweaking it too often it means it's trying to do too much. Establish a simple, easy-to-remember message and stick with it. Remember, it takes the average person five to eight exposures to a message before it sinks in.
  5. Constantly question your efforts. Whenever you consider making a change to your education efforts, ask, will these changes make the experience easier and simpler for residents? If the answer is no, keep searching!

If you can simplify your message and the recycyling experience, you have a much better chance of breaking through the noise. Check out this article for more examples of simplified brands.

We want to hear from you.. How can you simplify your message/ brand? Email us at

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