The Simplicity Premium: Which Brands Are Set to Profit?

November 3, 2014

SiegelGale-Top-10-US-Brands-by-Simplicity-Score-Nov20147 in 10 consumers from 8 global markets are more likely to recommend a brand because it provides simpler experiences and communications, and almost 4 in 10 are willing to pay more simpler experiences (the “simplicity premium”). Those figures come courtesy of Siegel+Gale, which has released its latest “Global Brand Simplicity Index.” So which brands and categories can benefit from the simplicity premium?

US Industries

US respondents will pay the highest premiums (4% or more for simplified experiences and interactions) to the following industries:

  • Retail/health and beauty;
  • Retail/grocery;
  • Electronics;
  • Restaurants;
  • Internet search; and
  • Retail/fashion.

Most of those landed on the list of top-ranked industries by Simplicity score. That list was headed by internet search (average score of 950), and followed by restaurants (929), retail/grocery (853), internet retail (845) and electronics (817).

US Brands

US respondents ranked first for brand simplicity among 125 brands, with its score of 914 jumping it 4 spots ahead of last year’s rank. In doing so, it overtook last year’s leader, Amazon, with its score of 894. Subway (+1 spot to #3) and Pizza Hut (+7 spots to #4) followed, with Netflix (which dropped 3 spots) closing out the top 5.

Among social media brands, Pinterest (#34) was the leader, Instagram (#47) and Twitter (#62), among others. In fact, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn all fell far further down the list, occupying spots 109 through 111, in that order.

Meanwhile, CIGNA took the dubious distinction of being the least simple of the 125 brands, swapping places with last year’s worst-rated brand, Time Warner Cable.

Global Industries

On a global basis, internet search again ranked as the most simple industry with an average score of 950, far ahead of the second-ranked electronics (761). Retail/grocery (733), internet retail (728) and appliances (726) rounded out the top 5. General insurance, with a paltry score of 270, is considered the most complex global industry. (In the US, it’s second last, beating only health insurance.)

Global Brands

In the global ranking of brand simplicity, ALDI won out again (as it did last year), with its score of 936 edging Google’s 927. Trailing ALDI and Google were Lidi (820), McDonald’s (813) and Netflix (792), with IKEA (790) also scoring highly.

Not surprisingly given the perceived complexity of insurance brands, AXA was the lowest-rated of the 90 global brands, with its score of 284 far below even the next-lowest brand (Ryanair, with its score of 418).

About the Data: The Global Brand Simplicity Index evaluates the global state of simplicity for some of the world’s leading brands. The evaluation is based on an online survey of 12,318 consumers in eight countries (US, UK, Germany, Sweden, Mainland China, India, UAE and Saudi Arabia) who were asked to evaluate perceived points of simplicity or complexity in their interactions with over 500 brands across 25 industries.

Once the results were aggregated, Siegel+Gale used the data to generate two scores to measure simplicity: a Brand Simplicity Score and an Industry Simplicity Score. Brands and industry are then ranked in each region, based on their scores. Respondents answered questions around:

  • How simple or complex they perceived their lives to be
  • How familiar they were with certain brands
  • If they recently used these brands
  • The simplicity/complexity of a brand’s communications and interactions in relation to its industry peers

Download the report for more information on how the brand scores were calculated.

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