Leading discount supermarket chain ALDI topped the list as the world’s simplest brand for the third year running, while Lidl dominated the UK rankings. The study, based on an online survey of more than 12,000 respondents across eight countries, ranks 585 brands based on their perceived simplicity.
Some of the key findings from the Siegel+Gale report this year include:
- Simplicity pays: 63 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for simpler experiences.
- Simplicity gets shared: 69 percent of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand because it’s simple.
- Simplicity outperforms: Data from the past six years shows a stock portfolio comprised of the publicly traded simplest brands in the Global Top 10 outperforms the major indexes by 213 percent.
“The Global Brand Simplicity Index has shown year after year that the benefits of simplicity remain constant,” says Howard Belk, co-CEO and chief creative officer, at Siegel+Gale. “Brands that offer simpler customer experiences are rewarded with passionate customer loyalty, more innovative employees and greater revenue. In short, embracing simplicity improves the bottom line for brands and organisations.”
Brands can scale or plummet in the rankings based on a multitude of factors, including expansion of product offerings, or improved communications. Some brand rankings have remained consistent throughout the past six years, but other brands have fluctuated. Highlights from this year’s study include:
- ALDI, Google, and Lidl stay securely in the top three spots this year, demonstrating a stalwart commitment to keeping things simple for customers.
- British Airways elevates an impressive 23 spots in this year’s Global Index to #45, while perennial low-flyer Ryanair remains in the bottom 10.
- Bupa and AXA remain in the bottom 10 again this year—for insurance companies, achieving simplicity certainly isn’t easy.
- Grazebox takes the top spot on the UK disrupters list.
- Health and beauty product purveyor Sephora drops 28 spots in the Global Index. Maintaining simplicity can’t be just skin-deep.
- Perennial high-performer McDonald’s is joined by Burger King and KFC in this year’s top ten, showing that quick service also means simple service.
For the second year running Siegel+Gale asked consumers in the US and UK to evaluate regionally relevant disrupters based on the simplicity of their products, services, interactions and communications. Disrupters are emerging brands that that are changing consumer expectations and reshaping industry category definitions.
What are disrupters doing to deliver simpler customer experiences?
- Empowering people: They side-step traditional industry protocols and shift power to consumers.
- Reimagining experiences: They turn underwhelming experiences into moments of delight.
- Removing friction: They identify pain points in everyday processes, and remove them.
- Saving time: They value people’s time by providing services to them where and when they need it most.
- Providing utility: They provide services that customers find useful.
“This year’s Global Brand Simplicity Index highlights a trend to watch—emerging companies built upon simplicity are incorporating it into everything they say and do, and in the process winning customer minds, hearts, and all-important wallets,” said David Srere, co-CEO and chief strategy officer, at Siegel+Gale. “Their more established competitors should take notice.”
As part of this year’s study, Siegel+Gale interviewed marketing leaders and founders of brands that have consistently performed well in the index, to understand why and how they provide simpler experiences—to both employees and customers. Through interviews with Google, Dunkin’ Donuts, Gannet, CVS Health, Zappos and Southwest Airlines, it’s apparent that weaving simplicity throughout brand experience is key to success.
This year Siegel+Gale introduced a new section in the report, which examines how consumers use social media platforms to perform certain tasks, and the implications for brands. They found brands should:
- Entertain before they sell: The primary reason consumers use social media is to find new sources of entertainment.
- Get noticed, but don’t disrupt: Ads that align to a social platform’s purpose are least disruptive to consumers.
- Explore social customer service: Consumers find it effective (though only a small percentage are using it).
The 2015 Global Brand Simplicity Index™ Top 10 Global Brands
- Aldi Retail/Grocery
- Google Internet search
- Lidl Retail/Grocery
- Netflix Internet retail ↑1
- McDonald’s Restaurants ↓1
- Burger King Restaurants ↑8
- IKEA Retail/General ↓1
- YouTube Social media ↑11
- eBay Internet retail ↑12
- KFC Restaurants ↑3
The 2015 Global Brand Simplicity Index™ Top 10 UK Brands
- Lidl Retail/Grocery
- Google Internet search ↑3
- Aldi Retail/Grocery ↓2
- Premier Inn Travel/Hotels ↓1
- Asda Retail/Grocery ↑4
- Sainsbury’s Retail/Grocery ↑1
- McDonald’s Restaurants ↓3
- Netflix Media
- Tesco Retail/Grocery ↑15
- Amazon Internet retail ↓8