Kelford Labs Daily: No cutlery needed

Don’t add, remove.

Kelford Labs Daily: No cutlery needed

“The Walkman was invented at the request of Sony co-founder Ibuka who wanted to listen to operas on his flights between Japan and the US. Engineers had added a recording button, but they were told to remove it—so it wouldn't confuse people about what the device was for. In the same way, McDonalds doesn't have cutlery so you know you're supposed to use your hands.” — Rory Sutherland, Alchemy

The expression “less is more” is a cliche for a reason—it’s usually correct.

And yet how often do we assume more is more?

More features means more customers, right? Nope, it usually just means more things to explain to the same people.

More service offerings mean more opportunities, don’t they? No, they usually mean more confusion about what it is we’re actually good at.

When we add instead of remove, we confuse our customers about what our business is actually for.

Adding more and more services and more and more features suggests we don’t know what we’re good at—or why customers should choose us over alternatives.

So, the next time you’re tempted to throw in an extra service, an extra feature, an extra detail—ask yourself: Will this make it more clear what I’m the best at, or will it make what I do more complicated?

Instead, remove the proverbial cutlery.

And demonstrate your value by focusing on what your business is actually for.

Today’s Experiment:

Step 1: Review Your Offering
Jot down all the things you sell or offer in a quick list.
Time: 1 minute

Step 2: Label Accurately
Now look that list over with a critical eye. Label everything either a Play Button or Record Button. Play Buttons are the core ways you deliver value, the primary reason your customers choose you. Record Buttons are additional features or offerings that complement or supplement your core value.
Time: 2 minutes

Step 3: Really Look At Your List
Okay, what do those lists look like? Review and reflect on how many Record Buttons you have vs. Play Buttons. Now, which Record Buttons might you remove from your marketing, to focus on better, higher value, Play Buttons?
Time: 3 minutes

This post contains 100% organic content, no generative AI was used in its creation.