Keep It Simple Stupid

KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid Is One Of My Mantras

download tomToo often advertising and digital agencies overstuff their messaging with the goal of telling future clients that they can do anything that the client needs. It goes from the idea of the full-service agency (we do ads, TV, radio, brochures, websites, SEO, content, social, PPC, and on…) to we do digital (PPC, SEM, landing pages, mobile, social, content, analytics, remarketing and on). This kitchen sink approach tends to overwhelm the agency’s messaging, reduces any sense of focus and is often perceived as mission impossible by clients who  do not think that a mobile agency can also be an expert at programmatic buying and eCommerce management and — pick more.

That’s Why I Preach: KISS

Keep your agency brand positioning focused. Keep your messaging focused. Keep focussed on business development. Focus your social media and thought leadership. Focus on the type of clients you want and can get (that isn’t every client in the universe).

Speaking of KISS — Tim Ferriss’s weekly broadcast email turned me on to this story from Rhode Island’s late George Germon – a very special chef and restaurant owner. I had the pleasure of dining at Al Forno, his fantastic Providence restaurant. Read on to get a taste of the power of simplicity.

George Germon On The Power Of Simplicity

George Germon (co-owner of the famed Al Forno restaurant) recounts an experience that he says he’ll never forget. “I was visiting some people in England who had a four- or five-year-old daughter. They weren’t around, but I was in the kitchen and the little girl pulled a chair over to the stove and started heating up a pan, saying she was going to make tomato soup,” he remembers. After getting the little girl’s assurance that her parents allowed her to do so, Germon says he watched her heat some butter in the pan, then take out a knife and cutting board and chop some tomatoes. She cooked the tomatoes in the butter for about 3 minutes, and then added a little salt and a little cream.

“Would you like some?” she asked Germon, who politely replied, “Sure!” Once he tasted it, Germon says he was absolutely floored. “It was unbelievable,” he says. “I couldn’t believe that something tasted as good as it did with so few ingredients.”

Al Forno’s menu features a potato soup that’s equally simple. “It has just four ingredients: potatoes, onions, butter, and water. That’s it,” says Germon. “And when our cooks first made it, they kept asking, ‘What’s the next step?’” Johanne Killeen remembers, “They found it impossible to believe that anything wonderful could result from four ingredients!”


So… What’s your tomato?


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