What happens when you don’t KISS?

So Tim Horton’s is adding a new size to its cup lineup (http://www.timhortons.com/ca/en/about/new-cup-sizes.html). But here’s the funny thing; while they are introducing a new larger 24oz cup, they’re still calling it XL! Huh? Instead of taking this new larger cup and calling it XXL, they have instead decided to rename ALL of their other sizes. small becomes XS, medium becomes small, etc. If you look at the actual graphic they provide (http://dam-img.rfdcontent.com/cms/323/323_original.jpg) they go ahead and explain the following: “…a large double-double is now a medium double-double”. Again…Huh?

Let me get this straight. You pull up to the drive through and order your standard, large coffee double-double. But in reality, a large is now the old XL. What does that do to the cream/sugar ratio? And what about the poor sucker who orders an XL and gets this new monstrosity?

Why am I going on and on about this? Personally I drink my coffee black so it doesn’t affect me as it will others. But believe me, it will affect others. On one hand, everyone has to now remember their old size and convert it to the new size (to some that might be as confusing as converting pounds to grams). Then factor in the whole cream/sugar thing. But the thing that irks me the most is the motivation behind it all.

Is it a ploy to raise prices? Again, Tim Horton’s states that the new sizes won’t affect the prices…but what does that mean exactly? Is an XS (an old small) less expensive…or is it the same price as what a small was? Is a large the same price as a large or the old XL? This is all making  my head hurt.

Now…back to the point at hand. Why am I lamenting this so much? Because I see this sort of confusion all the time on websites, landing pages, marketing collateral, etc.

I was introduced to a book several years ago called: “Don’t make me think” by Steve Krug.  It has become my go-to resource. Basically, if you give someone too many choices, they get confused and eventually abandon your site. If you want them to go to a specific page then send them there. Don’t make them wade through pages and pages of your content…it will only piss them off. 3 clicks should be the MOST that it takes to get someone to their desired location. And if they don’t know why they’re on your site and what’s in it for them….HELP them. Direct them very smoothly to the page you want them to visit. The page that will get you the most bang for your buck.

But for many that is a difficult and daunting task. I’ve sat through many messaging sessions and website reviews. How can you succinctly convert your core message into a one or two-sentence overview, that explains why what you do is important to to your customer? Everyone is so focused on how it works. Who their repertoire of customers is. What awards they’ve won. The “buzzwords” they love.

But is that going to get your potential customers to click? To download more information? To attend a webinar? To “follow” or “like” you?

Nobody wants to admit this, but at the end of the day, the customer doesn’t give a rat’s ass about how you are the number one provider of state-of-the-art technology that will revolutionize the way they do business. Because EVERYONE says that!

Take a step back. Decide who you’re talking to. Determine their biggest challenges. And then, clearly state how you can help them beat those challenges. Don’t make them think; rather help them realize that what you offer is what they need.

As for coffee? Maybe I’ll go to McDonald’s McCafe. The coffee’s actually quite good and I don’t have to think about what size I’m going to get when I place my order.