"The Power of Smart Brevity: Meeting the Changing Needs of Readers and Consumers"


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 27, 2023

4 min read


"The Power of Smart Brevity: Meeting the Changing Needs of Readers and Consumers"

In today's fast-paced world, attention spans are shrinking, and reader habits are shifting. With the constant bombardment of messages, people find themselves overwhelmed and under-informed. Long, impenetrable updates are often ignored, and the average time spent reading an article is a mere 26 seconds. It's clear that capturing and holding the reader's attention is more challenging than ever before.

When we encounter new content, our brains immediately ask two questions: What is this about? Is this relevant to me? If these questions aren't answered within approximately 17 milliseconds, we move on. However, there is a solution - a winning mix of white space, bolding, and bullets that can break this haze and engage readers. This approach, known as Smart Brevity, has been developed based on eye-tracking labs and over five years of testing. The result? On average, read times are 50% shorter.

Smart Brevity can be applied to any form of communication, and its principles can greatly enhance the effectiveness of our messages. The first key is to focus on the audience and prioritize their needs over what we want to say. By cutting out anything non-essential and honing in on the most important detail we want readers to remember, we can deliver our message more effectively. It's crucial to sum it up in one sentence and always state it first - following the subject-verb-object structure. Tight sentences and muscular words help readers grasp our point more quickly.

Furthermore, studies have shown that short paragraphs, bolding, and bullets can pull people in and help them navigate through the content more efficiently. By utilizing these formatting techniques, we can increase comprehension and engagement.

The changing landscape of consumer behavior also aligns with the concept of Smart Brevity. In Japan, for example, the rise of "コト消費" (Koto Shohi) or "experience consumption" has been fueled by the widespread use of smartphones and social media. People now have the ability to share their experiences with a larger audience, making mundane experiences and repeatable events less appealing. The ability to capture and preserve our own experiences through photos and social media posts has allowed us to truly feel the moments of excitement and the energy of a particular place or event.

This pseudo-experience has given rise to a new form of consumer behavior, where the value lies in one-time, unique experiences. Consumers seek out experiences that cannot be replicated and find value in the emotional connection and cultural significance attached to products and services. This is known as "イミ消費" (Imi Shohi) or "empathetic consumption." Examples include choosing to dine at a restaurant that exclusively uses organically grown ingredients or supporting businesses that prioritize environmental conservation, community contribution, and heritage preservation.

Incorporating the principles of Smart Brevity into our communication strategies can also benefit businesses in capturing the attention and loyalty of consumers. By understanding the changing consumer landscape and aligning our offerings with their values and preferences, we can create a stronger connection and build a loyal customer base.

To conclude, the power of Smart Brevity lies in its ability to meet the changing needs of readers and consumers. By cutting through the noise and delivering concise, impactful messages, we can capture attention, increase engagement, and build meaningful connections. Here are three actionable pieces of advice to incorporate Smart Brevity into your communication strategy:

  • 1. Prioritize your audience: Understand their needs and tailor your message accordingly. Focus on what is most important for them to remember and deliver it upfront.
  • 2. Embrace formatting techniques: Utilize short paragraphs, bolding, and bullets to make your content more visually appealing and easy to navigate. This will help readers stay engaged and comprehend the information more effectively.
  • 3. Connect with values and emotions: In line with the concept of empathetic consumption, consider how your products or services align with the values and emotional needs of your target audience. Highlight these connections to create a stronger bond and increase customer loyalty.

By implementing these strategies, you can harness the power of Smart Brevity to communicate more effectively and resonate with your audience in a fast-paced, information-saturated world.

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