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Apply KISS Principle to business

“Simplicity before understanding is simplistic; simplicity after understanding is simple.”  

True simplicity: This comes from a profound understanding of something, allowing you to break it down to its essential elements while still preserving its accuracy and nuance. It’s like taking apart a complex machine, understanding how each piece works, and then reassembling it in a way that’s clear and easy to grasp. This type of simplicity is elegant, powerful, and effective.

What is KISS, and how does it apply to businesses?

KISS is a design principle that stands for “Keep it simple and straightforward” (or sometimes “Keep it short or simple” or “Keep it simple, stupid”). For businesses, KISS can be a useful reminder not to make anything more complicated than it has to be. In a nutshell, this design principle advocates the simplification of processes and systems.

KISS can be translated into business practices in general and, in particular, marketing communication. In short, it is better to keep it simple.

What are the benefits of KISS?

When you keep things simple, there is more emphasis on action, fewer opportunities for problematic complications and more creativity in work projects. Kelly Johnson, a lead engineer at Lockheed Skunk Works, even applied the KISS method to military equipment designers. Johnson, aware that in battle there was no room for complications, told the designers to make equipment simple enough that the average soldier with basic training could fix it if needed.

Here are some of the benefits of applying the KISS principle at your business:

Improves productivity and efficiency

While business tasks may seem overwhelming at the beginning stages, the KISS method reminds companies to look at the big picture, divide projects into smaller tasks and continue to do so until things can’t be broken down any further. The KISS principle’s simplified and direct communication methods enable productive work and more efficient problem-solving

Prevents information overload 

There’s research that demonstrates the benefits of the KISS principle. Sheena Iyengar, a professor at Columbia University and a leading expert on the theory of choice, led an experiment that showed consumers are more likely to take action if they are faced with few and simple options.

Iyengar became curious about the KISS principle when frequenting an upscale grocery store that she said made her feel like she was “going to an amusement park”; it carried over two dozen brands of bottled water, 75 kinds of olive oil, and 250 options for mustards and vinegar. Even though she had a lot of choices and enjoyed shopping, she never seemed to buy anything. 

Increases sales and customer loyalty

Barry Schwartz, author of the award-winning book The Paradox of Choice (Ecco, 2004), supports the KISS theory with his research. He suggests that consumers prefer fewer choices because, when faced with more selections, people are more likely to feel regretful, indecisive and, in general, less content than if they had fewer options. Brands with simpler offerings are rewarded with more customers and increased loyalty across all business industries.


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