Aldi, Lidi, Google Tops in Simplicity Index

Brands that embrace simplicity tend to enjoy increased revenue, valuation, brand advocacy and employee engagement, according to Siegel+Gale.

The global brand strategy firm has revealed the top finishers of its seventh annual Global Brand Simplicity Index. 

Low-price grocery chain Aldi retains the number one spot as the world’s simplest brand, followed by Lidi, a German discount chain. Other top finishers are Google, Netflix, Ikea, Amazon, KFC, YouTube, McDonald’s and Subway.

The study revealed that simplicity earns a premium: 64% of consumers are willing to pay more for simpler experiences. Simplicity also builds loyalty, with 61% of consumers more likely to recommend a brand because it is simple. 

Brands that don’t provide simple experiences are leaving an estimated share of $86 billion on the table, according to the study. 



“Ignoring that kind of ROI is crazy,” said Howard Belk, co-CEO and chief creative officer, Siegel+Gale.

Investors should heed the popularity of the brands. A stock portfolio of the simplest global brands outperforms the major indexes by 330%.

Finally, simplicity pays off with happy employees. Sixty-two percent of employees at simple companies are brand champions — versus only 20% of employees at complex companies.

Yahoo dropped 37 places, demonstrating that Web search isn’t always simple. Insurance provider AXA just can’t seem to break out of the bottom spot, as it is 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. Five out of six brands representing the restaurant industry are in the top 15, indicating that quick service often means simple service.

The 2017 study, based on an online survey of more than 14,000 respondents across 9 countries, ranks 857 brands on their perceived simplicity. Siegel+Gale is part of Diversified Agency Services, a division of Omnicom Group Inc.

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