Global Brand Simplicity Index: for consumer brands, simplicity means performance

What is the ‘best’ consumer brand of 2013? Depends how you measure it.

Brand consultancy Siegal and Gale has released its annual ‘Global Brand Simplicity Index’, rating brands from the most simple to most complex and analysing their stock price performance.

Surveying 10,000 people from seven countries, the research asked consumers a number of questions based on how complex they perceive a list of consumer brands to be. The questions related to the complexity or simplicity of product, services and overall interaction and communications consumers experienced.

The report found that if you were to build a portfolio of the top 10 publicly-traded simplest brands, it would outperform the major stock market indexes in terms of growth in stock price performance.

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93 brands were included in the global ranking list, with discount supermarket Aldi coming out on top. Also making the top 10 were, in order, Amazon, Google, McDonald’s, KFC, Carrefour, C&A, Samsung, Ikea and Pizza Hut.

At the rough end, Irish budget airline RyanAir was named the least simple brand in the survey due to its notorious hidden fees and tariff traps.

Interestingly, Google made an appearance in the bottom 10. It’s Google Plus social network came in at 83.

With a no-frills supermarket topping the list and a no-frills airline coming in last, the results show that low-cost brands with similar aims can have very different outcomes, suggesting low cost doesn’t have to result it poor consumer perception.

The research reports that being perceived as a simpler brand results in higher customer retention and recommendation rates. 75% of people said when they perceived a brand to be simple, they would recommend that brand to family and friends.

The report also argues that customers are willing to pay a premium for simpler experiences with companies.

Providing simple, clear messages brands also create a better workplace for employees, encouraging innovation and creativity. Results showed  51.2% of respondents employed by ‘simple’ companies believe they are rewarded for being innovative, compared to just 6% at complex companies.

The results are in stark contrast to recent data released as part of Interbrand’s annual ‘Best Global Brands‘ rankings. As we reported last month, Apple took out the title of best global brand, showing an increase of 28% in the past year.

Google was a close second seeing an increase of 34%. Interbrand ranks the brands by measuring finance, demand and the competitive landscape. Valued at nearly one billion dollars, Apple is hard to beat.

Interbrand also reported a rise in Apple’s performance, while Siegel and Gale reported Apple to be declining, with India being the only country where Apple’s ranking had increased since 2012.

 

BY Olivia Shying ON 4 November 2013