Why it’s good to play dumb in the arrogant world of tech

The world of tech has every right to be arrogant. We live in a time where the rate of innovation is astronomical, and where we all carry around phenomenally advanced technology in our pockets every day. There’s much for tech brands to be proud of.

But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

For consumers, it’s all about the benefit. As the technology we access day-to-day becomes increasingly more complex, tech brands need to make sure consumers understand what that means for them.

Not only is there an act of translation that brands must undertake – where functional, technological qualities need to be described in terms of what they actually and tangibly deliver for the user – this process may also require an act of humility.

When there is big internal excitement about a new product feature or capability, it can be hard to remember the end user. This is especially true when much of the enthusiasm is driven from above, or if the innovation is off the back of significant R&D or strategic investment. But despite such internal gravity, this doesn’t mean it’s necessarily what the company should be talking about.

The Fintech industry is a brilliant example of where an often overly dense, and sometimes arrogantly academic category has been ‘dumbed down’ to be accessible and motivating for customers.

Investment apps like Moneybox and Nutmeg cut through the familiar financial services jargon. They present customers with relatable reasons to invest, offering clarity over how their money will be distributed and what this could mean for their future finances, and nuance their products to fit into consumers’ current lifestyles and behaviours (for example the Moneybox round-ups feature).

Like many traditional investment firms, these apps use advance economic knowledge to bring consumers good returns. But that’s not what they shout about. Instead, they communicate with customers about how their morning coffee could help them get a house-deposit, by rounding-up their spare change and automatically putting this in a Lifetime Stocks & Shares ISA.

It should be the role of branding & marketing teams to be the voice of the consumer in these scenarios, performing these benefit translations, and at the ready to challenge when the company’s sense of achievement is put ahead of what matters to the consumer.

Yes, be proud of your brand’s achievements. But – sometimes – it’s ok to dumb things down.

By: The Value Engineers

Comments are closed