To be ‘Kanso’

We often get asked what ‘Kanso’ means. It reflects a concept that’s at the heart of everything we do. But before we rush straight into what this concept is, let’s start with a question:

What is more beautiful – a porcelain vase, or a weathered piece of pottery?

Not everyone will agree, because beauty is a remarkably malleable characteristic. In Japan, for example, the concept of Wabi-sabi celebrates beauty in the imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. The opening bud of a rose in Spring, or the decay of life in autumn are more evocative of Wabi-sabi than a flower in full bloom. This is very different to our western aesthetic values, which are often drawn from Greek ideals of symmetry.


How does this relate to Kanso? There are seven aesthetic principals for achieving Wabi-sabi: 

  • Fukinsei: asymmetry, irregulariy;
  • Koko: basic, weathered;
  • Shizen: without pretence, natural;
  • Yugen: subtly profound grace, not obvious;
  • Datsuzoku: unbounded by convention, free;
  • Seijaku: tranquillity; And
  • Kanso: simplicity;

We don’t profess to be experts in Japanese culture, however we do admire many of their ideals. With the word Kanso, we hope to represent one aspect that we feel is particularly important in the field of marketing effectiveness: Simplicity. 

Marketing in an ever more complex world 

Over the last ten years, we have seen a remarkable transition in marketing. There has been an explosion of brands and products, all vying for attention, consideration and loyalty.  Innovation continues apace, promotions and offers are widespread, and consumers are navigating this new world with often conflicting advice from friends, family and professionals.  

The overload of brands, products and advice means that online forums are increasingly being relied upon for information. Brands can no longer flourish through traditional media channels alone, and media investment is being divided into an ever growing number of touch points, supporting a dizzying array of products. 

Many see Big Data as the solution to this complexity, but in fact it is often part of the problem. Marketing teams simply do not have the time or experience to handle the disparate sets of data that are now available, let alone have a sufficient grounding in statistics to make sure the data is error free and fulfilling the right need. 

Simplicity in action 

At Kanso, we start with your questions, not the data. We have the experience to know what to look for, and which questions to ask. We’ll take you with us on a journey to clear and straightforward recommendations. For us, simplicity is everything, and that is why we are called Kanso. 

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