• Transform magazine
  • February 21, 2020


Keep it simple, brands


Simple brands simply succeed. Brand consultancy Siegel+Gale has known this since its inception. It also puts simplicity to the test every year in its ‘World’s Simplest Brands’ research.

The link between market value and simplicity has been apparent throughout the eight years the research has been conducted. This year, however, there was a demonstrated link between loyalty and simplicity with 64% of consumers saying they’re more likely to recommend a brand with simpler communications and experiences. With the value placed on word-of-mouth marketing and recommendations, this could be a powerful driver for brands looking to build awareness and loyalty.

Globally, the gist is that people like supermarkets and they like tech-savvy businesses. Netflix reigns globally and in the UK, with Aldi and Ikea taking the top spot in Germany and Sweden, respectively. Google is another strong player across the regions and takes the three spot globally. Internet search ranks the simplest sector across the entire field of study.

Liana Dinghile, executive strategy and development director at Siegel+Gale says, “People prefer and reward companies who deliver transparent, simple experiences that make their lives easier. ‘World’s Simplest Brands’ demonstrates how companies that exemplify simplicity win customer trust, loyalty and ultimately, increased revenue. In a crowded marketplace, brands who invest in simplifying customer experiences cut through the clutter.”

The global top 10: 1. Netflix 2. Aldi 3. Google 4. Lidl 5. Carrefour 6. McDonalds 7. Trivago 8. Spotify 9. Uniqlo 10. Subway

Unsurprisingly some of the least simple sectors, globally, include insurance, car hire and cable. But, social media is deemed one of the least simple sectors, except in Saudi Arabia and China – where presumably the simplicity of the market due to Weibo’s dominance shaped the results.

Some of the results within the different regions are not surprising – Ikea, Amazon, McDonalds, Carrefour and Facebook all make repeat appearances. However, some results are more intriguing. In the US, Lyft takes the top spot, while Uber doesn’t make the grade in the top 10. British consumers highly rated popular supermarkets Sainsburys and Aldi, but also found challenger brand MetroBank and Premier Inn to be among the simplest brands. The UAE ranks international players WhatsApp and Pizza Hut, but it also puts high esteem on the Dubai Metro, which comes in at the five spot.

Philip Davies, EMEA president of Siegel+Gale says, “We live in a complex world where people are increasingly busy and constantly bombarded with information. They shop and consume information on the go, whether it’s during their morning commute or evening stroll. This reality means brands that develop a clear offering that is easily understood and that consistently deliver a simple, seamless experience are one step ahead of the competition. Our 2018 World’s Simplest Brands report shows how companies who embrace simplicity enjoy increased revenue, valuation and brand advocacy.”

For those brands that can strip back the message to its core, that can communicate with efficiency and that can maintain a sense of consistency across all of their brand touchpoints stand to gain. Siegel+Gale says the top 10 global brands since 2009 have shown they are more likely to outperform the major stock indexes by 686%. Between the financial promise and the fact that consumers willing pay for simpler experiences, for brands it’s simple.