Simplicity the new sophistication

Simplicity messages are gaining momentum as the recession wears on. The challenge for premium brands is to appeal to consumers’ yen for back-to-basics while retaining the sophisticated image equity that supports their pricing, according to Margaret Kime, director of innovation with brand-building consultancy Fletcher Knight, reports Media Post.

"Whereas in the past, more sophisticated foods were complex, time-intensive and somewhat unattainable," today's successful premium-brand positioning stresses "quality, purity, authenticity, superior taste and optimum nutrition and health" within a context of streamlined preparation and attractive presentation, she says. "Our research suggests that brands that celebrate the aesthetic beauty in real ingredients, simple preparation and artful presentation will be aligned with the driving philosophy that good food is eaten fresh and prepared unpretentiously."

In the beverage category, all-natural Pepsi Raw is a perfect example. It focuses on natural, organic and minimally processed ingredients and a “clean” label. Kime notes that brands effectively linking messages of both simplicity and sophistication include Heinz’s Classico pasta sauces and Hagen-Dazs five all-natural ice cream with only five ingredients for pure, balanced flavor and less fat.

The key lies in marketing strategies that link the two concepts. "Simplicity is the new sophistication," says Kime.