Marketing to Minimalists

"Minimalist marketing transcends both online and offline – it's everywhere around us, and it's here to stay – more than likely you've already bought into it in some way yourself."

The Rising Trend of Minimalist Marketing

Earlier this month, we encouraged marketers to ditch the one-size-fits-all approach to generation-specific marketing, and discussed the importance of distinguishing consumers by what and how they consume, instead of by their age.

Piggybacking on this concept of behavior-based marketing, we thought it might make sense to explore a growing cross-generational trend in which consumers of all ages eschew excessive buying.

Statistics that reveal how much "stuff" we actually own are quite staggering, and serve as inspirational fodder to promote a minimalist lifestyle.

Incidentally, what was once a way of life for many Americans is now a conscious decision for today's consumers. Self-described minimalists find value in contentment with the few things they have, and tend to appreciate straightforward communication in lieu of disingenuous advertising.

Minimalism today has also become a movement stemmed from necessity –– Millennials, for example, were deeply affected by the housing bubble, economic recession, and their mounting student loan debt, inspiring them to live life with a "less is more" attitude.

From podcasts to blogsbooks, and documentary films, minimalist advocates are sharing their ideas with the world through a variety of media outlets.

With this growing consumer (or rather, anti-consumer) trend, how are marketers supposed to compete?

For starters, establish trust and authenticity. Thought leadership content helps you become a subject-matter expert or authority –– craft simpler messaging that demonstrates your concern for your customer's wellbeing, and be transparent! Having their best interests at heart should be more than evident in your value proposition.

Emphasize quality, which pairs well with a minimalist's frugality and propensity toward intentional buying (i.e. don't buy what you don’t need).

Pare your inventory down to one or two high-quality items that serve a single purpose, instead of offering several items of varying quality and cost that (more or less) function identically. This further emphasizes quality, and eliminates too much choice, and ultimately, decision fatigue.

Aesthetic minimalism is another effective strategy; clean packaging design and simplified creative concepts can go a long way with a minimalist's mindset.

Case in point, c/o Antrepo Design:

One key component to minimalist thinking is that mindless consumption can quickly turn into excessive consumption. The same can be said for marketing: less is more. 

Minimalists are unlikely to respond to a barrage of frivolous marketing, or anything perceived to be a marketing "tactic," therefore, it behooves marketers to tell a mindful and meaningful brand story if they want to appeal to the minimalist consumer.