For the past seven years, the annual Global Brand Simplicity Index study has been tracking the impact of brand and industry simplicity on consumer behaviour and business performance.

The study is the work of Siegel+Gale, a global brand strategy and experience firm, and the results point to simplicity being the ultimate driver of brand loyalty as customers desire more seamless, simpler, faster brand engagement, giving them back the rarest of commodities – time.

The message is simple; brands that delivery clear, human and useful experiences, win.

And simplicity pays, as Siegel+Gale claim; since 2009 a stock portfolio comprised of the publicly traded simplest brands in their global Top 10 has outperformed the major indexes.


Global Brand Simplicity Index performance
Chart by Siegel+Gale


Siegel+Gale’s 2017 study is based on an online survey of more than 14,000 respondents across nine countries and ranks 857 brands on their perceived simplicity.

The data collected is used to generate two scores: An Industry Simplicity Score™ and a Brand Simplicity Score™.

The Industry Simplicity Score rates each industry on its perceived simplicity. Each industry is evaluated on its contribution to making life simpler or more complex, the pain of typical interactions with companies within the industry and how the industry’s communications rank in terms of ease of understanding, transparency/honesty, concern for customers, innovation/freshness and usefulness.

The Brand Simplicity Score rates each brand on its perceived simplicity. It evaluates each brand on the simplicity/complexity of its products, services, interactions and communications in relation to industry peers. The score takes into consideration the consistency of responses, the difference between user and non-user perceptions and the simplicity score for the brand’s industry

Key findings from the study include:

  • Simplicity earns a premium: 64 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for simpler experiences.
  • Simplicity builds loyalty: 61 percent of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand because it’s simple.
  • Complexity costs: Brands that don’t provide simple experiences are leaving an estimated share of $86 billion on the table.
  • Simplicity performs: A stock portfolio of the simplest global brands outperforms the major indexes by 330 percent.
  • Simplicity inspires: 62 percent of employees at simple companies are brand champions—versus only 20 percent of employees at complex companies.

 The 2017 Global Brand Simplicity Index™ Top 10 Brands

  1. ALDI
  2. Lidl
  3. Google
  4. Netflix
  5. IKEA
  6. Amazon
  7. KFC
  8. YouTube
  9. McDonald’s
  10.  SUBWAY

Each year the movement of brands in the Simplicity Index rankings are analysed.  Some brands remain consistent year-over-year, while others fluctuate. Highlights from the 2017 study include:

  • ALDI remains the simplest brand in our global ranking for the fourth year running, while competitor Lidl once again lands in the top three.
  • Yahoo! drops 37 places, demonstrating that web search isn’t always simple.
  • Dollar Shave Club and land in the top US Disrupters—their current multi-billion-dollar valuations are further testament to the power of simplicity.
  • Insurance provider AXA just can’t seem to break out of the bottom spot, as they are the most complex brand for the second year running.
  • Health and beauty product purveyor Sephora rises 44 spots in the global ranking.
  • Global hotel chain Hilton moves up 50 spots in the global ranking.
  • EasyJet has ascended 16 spots, a smooth takeoff for a customer-focused airline.
  • Five out of six brands representing the restaurant industry are in the top 15, indicating that quick service often means simple service.

 Global Disrupters

For the third year running, Siegel+Gale asked people to evaluate “disruptive” brands in the US and UK. These emerging businesses are continuously changing consumer expectations by delivering memorable, meaningful and useful brand experiences.

In the US, the top disrupters include Dollar Shave Club, GrubHub, Square, Spotify and In the UK, the top disrupters include OVO Energy, City Mapper, Shazam, GoPro and My Fitness Pal.

Disrupter brands possess a common characteristic—they place simplicity at the core of their customer experience,” said David Srere, co-CEO and chief strategy officer, Siegel+Gale. “The recent billion-dollar acquisitions of Dollar Shave Club and are further proof that simplicity drives brand loyalty and financial gain.”

To view the full report, visit:

Source: Siegel+Gale


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