When you hear "minimalism" do you think it is:
- a passing fad,
- getting rid of all your possessions,
- living out of a backpack?
If yes, then you may have given into a stereotype.
As a Minimalist myself, I hope to shed some light on what minimalism truly is and explain three Minimalist habits that could be affecting your business. Understanding how minimalism could be affecting your business is important because it will help you be a more effective marketer.
I'll even clue you in to the one key factor to successfully adapting to this change.
What is Minimalism?
Though there are many debates about what it means, applied to human behaviour, it starts to look like what The Minimalists describe as:
"A tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favour of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom."
Happiness is a byproduct of a meaningful life.— The Minimalists (@TheMinimalists) September 26, 2017
By its definition, Minimalism is different based on what makes each person happy, fulfilled, and free. That said, there are still a few noticable habits within the minimalist community.
Minimalism is governed by the idea of owning less, consuming less, and ultimately buying only the essential. The easiest way to do this is to buy quality, multi-use items that will stand the test of time. That's why minimalist consumers tend to spend less overall but will spend more money for higher-quality products.
"Minimalists buy possessions carefully. To do so, we must ask better questions like Will this thing add value to my life?" -@TheMinimalists— Jessica Lambi (@jessicalambi) September 27, 2017
An example that happens to find itself in my minimalist wardrobe is owning one convertible (or infinity) dress. No more buying one-use dresses for special occasions. One dress, infinite possibilities, any and all occasions. Check out this great convertible dress from Henkaa. (Bonus: it's a Canadian comapny!)
Over the long term, this could mean a rise in popularity of multi-function higher goods and a decline in sales of disposable goods. In other words, we crave the strong long-lasting products of our not-so-distant past.
Social Media Disengagement
Minimizing the social media experience isn't something all Minimalists do, but it does align with the common theme of Minimalism.
When was the last time you took a look at your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram feed? Was it cluttered with ads? Did what you see truly make you happy? Or did you scroll aimlessly and think about all the fun things you can do, find a great product you may buy one day, and experience a little FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
That's where Minimalists take a different approach. They've downsized their social media networks, only truly connecting with those that were important to them, and maybe even unfollowed some brands they used to love, but now don't connect with.
I think it's safe to say we all experience a desire to declutter our inboxes. It should come at no surprise that Minimalists have hit many "unsubscribe" buttons in their digital lifetime. That means that your message will make it to fewer inboxes, and influence fewer individuals.
In fact, services like unroll.me have been popular due to their ability to show users just how many email subscriptions they have. They'll even help you unsubscribe.
It also means that you have to really think about the content you send to a customer or potential customer by email.
What does it all mean?
Now we're getting to the good part: finding out what all of this means for you and your business. This is where I point out the one thing in common with all three Minimalist habits:
Or rather, getting rid of what does not bring value to our lives. Is an object in our homes sitting there collecting dust? Purge. Looking to buy a specific product to fit our lives? Research. Is a brand we follow posting too much useless information? Unfollow. Get an email delivered to our inboxes we don't care about? Unsubscribe.
But really, when has anyone ever found an argument against value, whether your audience is Minimalist or not? It's important to create something meaningful and valuable. If you don't, what's your purpose?
That email you send out? It better be personalized to make sure every single recipient sees a value. You may consider different imagery or wording based on past customer purchases, or pages visited. segmentation
That social media network? Make sure you speak to its audience and give them what they want. Consider slightly different messages and visual cues based on the network you use. Better yet, choose one or two social media networks that truly share a common audience with your brand.
That product/service you're selling? Make sure you're creating something worthwhile. Because if you don't, it may just sit there unsold. You'll want to be able to show your audience the value of your product, and use content marketing to tell a compelling story.
If I were to give you three action steps, they would be the following: simplify, personalize, and create value. These three actions will help find focus and direction in your marketing efforts. Not only will Minimalists consider your brand, all customers will appreciate the simple, relevant, and valuable information you share with them on a day-to-day.
Still not convinced Minimalism will affect your business? It seems Millennials are going Minimalist. Check it out.