Cut the crap! Three great examples of ‘No Nonsense’ marketing

Ben Caspersz

Ben Caspersz on Oct 21, 2013

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Marketing professionals have a dizzying array of tactical options at their disposal.   Give them a budget and the chance to ‘get creative’ and you can be pretty sure they’ll get on and do exactly that.   But is there another way?  What happens when organisations choose not to play by the same rules?

Here are three examples where companies have gone for a ‘no nonsense’ approach.  They’ve not jumped head first in to tactics, instead they’ve taken a strategic decision to keep it simple and do less of the whizzy stuff – with (mostly) impressive results.

1.  The richest man in the world has the simplest website in the world

Warren Buffet’s website is a sight to behold.  Despite his investment company being worth over $427bn, the Berkshire Hathaway website has barely changed since the dawn of the internet, consisting of a few lines of text linking to a few more pages of text and a couple of adverts for Berkshire Hathaway-owned companies. But the website is entirely effective – all the annual reports and SEC filings are all are up to date and crucially it hammers home a ‘super lean’ message.  They’ve chosen to have no telephone number.  No twitter, facebook, case studies, client testimonials, storytelling.  Why not?  Well maybe this is a clue:  you’re welcome to write to them and an email address is provided, but “due to the limited number of personnel in our corporate office, we are unable to provide a direct response.” No nonsense, just annual revenues of $190bn a year.

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2.  Shut it!  The pub chain that sticks to serving beer Samuel Smiths pubs are enigmatic… and incredibly popular.  No music, no TVs, no fruit machines, no quiz nights, no special offers, no curry nights. Most of them have no food.   No Heineken, Jack Daniels, Guiness, in fact no branded drinks whatsoever.  No advertising, no PR, a website from the 1990s.  In the year 2000, the company even began phasing out their branding from their own pubs.  Sam Smiths is the archetypal pub chain anti-brand… and all the more defined for it. No nonsense, just low prices and 300+ packed pubs. Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 12.26.33

3.  Keys Cut.  End of. Timpsons, Climpsons, Princetons… they’re all much of a muchness.  It is refreshing to find companies that offer a specific service and eschew their own egos, instead dedicating their valuable shop sign space for their central key message.  Suburban key cutters have it down to a fine art. No nonsense, just keys cut.   Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 12.18.38   What do you think?  I’d love to hear of any more examples of successful ‘no nonsense’ marketing.   —