Simplexity

‘Simplexity’ captures the need for a simple message, visual cue or user interface, even if the product or service is meeting a complex need. There is a growing expectation for products and services to be easy to use – if not they are simply not worth the time investment.

How is this sub-trend evolving?

How it was

Appreciation of brands that incorporate a playful dimension into products, packaging or communications

Weetabix launched their ‘On The Go’ cereal drink, with all the energy of the original cereal, plus added fibre and iron.

How it is

Increased interest in brands and experiences that put playfulness front and centre

French company Sen.se has debuted an electronic device called “Mother” designed to serve as a hub for a series of Motion Cookie tracking devices in the home. Cookies are multipurpose portable sensors able to track a variety of information, including movement and temperature and alert you to any changes.

How it will be

Bringing together multiple services into one convenient integrated service

For example, Foodiful is home to thousands of free tried-and-tested recipes from Australia’s favourite lifestyle brands, and you can shop the ingredients with a click of a button. It’s like a Pinterest for recipes, drawing together inspiration from brands, restaurants, individual bloggers and influencers etc

In-market examples from around the world

What: KFC has teamed up with Baidu (China’s equivalent of Google) to develop facial-recognition technology that can be used to predict customer’s orders. This has just been unveiled in a KFC in Beijing, where it recommends menu items based on a customer’s estimated age and mood.
Why: A KFC spokesperson has said that the technology is meant to improve convenience, by remembering peoples’ faces and their preferred orders.
What: Uobei Sushi is a new sushi parlour in downtown Shibuya, using a new bullet train belt instead of the old traditional style conveyor belt.
Why: The new bullet train provides busy guests with an even faster delivery method, where guests can make orders from a tablet and get their sushi delivered straight to them on the bullet train belt.
What: Ucook is a delivery service that delivers all the fresh ingredients (in the right amounts) to peoples’ houses. When you select your subscription, you opt for 1, 2 or 4 person packages, based on three types of diet: low carb, vegetarian, and rustic. The fare is intended to be restaurant quality when cooked – hence a relatively premium position within the South African market.
Why: Ucook means that customers can get the enjoyment and education of cooking restaurant-quality food, without the hassle of having to prepare everything beforehand, and ensure ingredients fit with your dietary choices.
What: Takoyaki is a traditional Japanese meal experiencing a revival, in snack food form, at the increasingly popular street food markets.
Why: Savoury pancakes filled with octopus or fish and vegetables, made super easy to eat and far less messy, as the pancake is fried in a small ball shape, around the filling. A complex traditional meal made simple and palm-sized for Japanese consumers on the go. As eating on the move becomes more culturally acceptable in the market, the popularity of hot snack foods like this will grow in popularity.
What: The Monsieur is an American  touchscreen drink mixer that will solve all your drink-mixing woes.
Why: Armed with 300 drink recipes for every occasion, superior knowledge and precise mixing skills, the Monsieur is proof that, sometimes, technology can do our jobs simpler and better than we can.
What: La Nevera Roja (Red Fridge) is an online and mobile portal for thousands of Spanish restaurants and home delivery options in the larger cities. To date, it has 600,000 users.
Why: The main reason for the  app’s increasing popularity is its extremely simple  interface that allows people to choose or order their chosen meal quickly and easily, with just a couple of clicks.
What: Knorr developed an app that takes the difficulty out of meal planning. In store, Argentinian consumers simply scan a product’s barcode, to quickly pull-up recipes using a certain ingredient. The app even allows people to search for meal ideas, based on their mood or even the weather.
Why: In a challenging environment, brands need to provide clear benefits for consumers. Low prices are important, but so is simplification and problem-solving.