What's simplicity worth?
Worldwide, new research suggests that industries and brands are leaving nearly $50 billion on the table for failing the simplicity test with consumers.
That's according to the latest Global Brand Simplicity Index, which is slated to be released by branding agency Siegel + Gale on Wednesday.
“The world is cluttered with complexity; therefore, when we experience simplicity, it stands out,” Margaret Molloy, global chief marketing officer for Siegel+Gale, said on Tuesday. "Simplicity brings clarity instead of confusion, decision instead of doubt … And the rewards are real.”
In Molloy's words, simplicity equals “brand experiences that are remarkably clear and unexpectedly fresh.”
Unfortunately for traditional media brands, the industry as a whole vastly decreased its simplicity levels over the past year, according to Siegel + Gale. USA Today, CNN, MSNBC, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News and The New York Times all dropped big-time from last year's survey.
Who’s winning the simplicity game? Among technology and other digitally inclined brands, Google, Samsung, Apple, Nokia, and Canon all made Siegel + Gale's list.
In particular, Samsung overtook Apple for the first time in global rankings by jumping 6 points to land at the No. 8 spot. Falling 14 points, Apple now sits at No. 19.
Google, meanwhile, needs to pay attention to Bing, which made considerable headway globally. Microsoft's search engine climbed 42 spots to No. 26, while Google fell two spots to No. 3.
“Google is clearly the leader in the search category and is synonymous with search,” Molloy assured. “However, our survey shows that Bing increased in simplicity and relevance.”
Added Molloy: “In the U.S., respondents got the message from clear and clever commercials that revealed users’ preferences for Bing search results over Google’s.”
Overall, Siegel + Gale is absolutely convinced that simplicity is the key to brand success. The firm even points out that since 2009, brands that it has deemed “simple” have beaten public market performance by 100%.
"We have found that simplicity inspires deeper trust and greater loyalty in customers, and clears the way to innovation for employees,” according to Molloy.