When less is more: applying lagom in marketing
According to the American Marketing Association, marketing means “creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” Following this definition, marketing is something that stands out, cuts through the noise, gets people listen – and ultimately, buy.
In today’s vibrating, multi-sensory world where new platforms and products pop up day by day, getting noticed requires more and more energy, money, and creativity. And with all that, there’s a fine line between big successes and devastating failures when it comes to going viral.
So how can lagom, the Swedish concept of evenness and moderation help you get closer to your audience?
What is lagom?
At its essence, lagom is the Swedish ethos of balanced living. With no literal translation to English, it basically means “not too little, no too much, just the right amount”. Thinking of Scandinavian design with its minimalistic elegance, it’s not too difficult to see how Swedes live their life on the golden mean. Doing so, they often make it to the top of the charts about sustainable, healthy, and happy way of life – something we all thrive to achieve.
Lagom is all about enjoying life in moderation. It’s about being our conscious, authentic self without drifting to any extremes. It’s knowing when to stop also at work, which again ranks the Nordic countries as the absolute winners of work-life balance. We could go on for ages about what lagom means in different situations, but let’s just leave it to Linnea Dunne, the author of “Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living”. We can assure you, it’s a good read, a quite lagom one.
Lagom in marketing
So now we know what lagom is, but how is that even remotely connected to marketing? The world of advertising and branding is all about the outstanding, the exceptional, you could say. And you’re not wrong. Today we’re bombarded with millions of ads everywhere we go, every time we unlock our phones or look at the screen. Ad blindness is growing by the day.
That’s exactly where lagom comes into the picture. In our oversaturated world, full of fluff (just think of Joey Tribiani’s Japanese lipstick commercial), seeing something authentic, something ‘less everything’ is like fresh air, fresh Nordic air. Let’s see how you can implement lagom in your marketing strategy.
1. Nurture your growth, but don’t push it
Building a business takes time, and there’s no magic trick around it. Organic growth may be slower, but if you give yourself the time to think your strategy through, your growth will be steady and sustainable. Big hits are great, but apart from being risky, they eat up a lot of your energy, while making ‘just the right amount’ of smart adjustments is beneficial in the long run.
2. Keep your workflow clean
Einstein might have thought that it takes a genius to master chaos, but he clearly did not talk about the multitasking reality of the 21st century. Oddly, in the era of immediacy, planning is king. Declutter your marketing strategy and keep your to-do list updated at all times. Once you have that, you can take things slowly and see how they evolve – with occasional fine-tuning if needed.
3. Pick your preferred channels
The time of carpet-raids is long gone. You simply cannot excel on every platform today, but that’s okay, you really don’t need to. Get to know your audience, figure out where they spend most of their time and focus your energy there. Let data drive your decisions, not your gut feelings, especially not about TikTok or Clubhouse.
4. Say more with less
Those who say too much are not often listened to. That’s true for marketing too. You don’t need a sea of silly social posts and a bullshit blog. Find your niche and make every piece of content count with your authentic voice.
5. Don’t be wasteful with your content
This one is all about working smarter not harder. Be resourceful with your marketing materials and strategically repurpose different content types. It’s especially useful if you’re just launching your brand and don’t have limitless resources to utilize. A few well-tailored tweaks to your existing content can save you from the trouble of constantly running after new materials.
6. Take breaks, real breaks
Swedes living their best lagom life know how to unwind during the workday. Their coffee break called ‘fika’ is sacred: it’s a way to pause and be in the moment without checking emails or stressing about the next meeting. They are dead serious about their breaks, but they don’t work until they break. Fuelled by fika, you will feel more productive and creative when they are back at the desk.
Take the first step towards your lagom marketing
Now you know the gist of it, but there’s no ’one size fits all’ solution here either. If you’re in the process of building or rethinking your business, it’s best to get help from professionals and outsource where possible. Part of the ethos of lagom is understanding that you don’t have to carry all the load alone. As creative marketing professionals with 20+ years of experience, we’d be happy to help you create a balanced and thought-through marketing strategy. Let’s talk!