Germany

Brand Simplicity Index

1.
ALDI

Rank change from 2013:

0

Brand Simplicity Score:

993

Industry:

Retail/Grocery


ALDI comes out on top of the Germany Simplicity Index once again this year. The no-frills supermarket chain recently lost co-founder and food retail pioneer Karl Albrecht, who passed away in July. But the ALDI legacy of great value and clarity of offerings lives on. Respondents praise the brand’s consistency and efficiency across locations, concluding, “When you know [one] ALDI, you know them all.”

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3.
Amazon

Rank change from 2013:

0

Brand Simplicity Score:

930

Industry:

Internet retail


Online retail giant Amazon holds on to the #3 spot as it continues to expand within the country—the company’s largest market after the United States. Though Amazon has had complicating issues with German workers and suffered through numerous strikes over the past year, respondents still applaud the brand’s “clear and unambiguous” communications and the convenience of a wide selection of products under one roof.

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4.
Penny Markt

Rank change from 2013:

+4

Brand Simplicity Score:

908

Industry:

Retail/Grocery


German discount retailer Penny Markt continues its climb up the rankings, jumping from #8 in 2013 to #4 this year. The brand is coming off a successful year, launching an entirely new range of own-brand products to distinguish itself in the highly competitive discount retail arena. Respondents say Penny Markt’s offerings are straightforward, their stores conveniently located and promotional material simple and clear.

5.
Lidl

Rank change from 2013:

+1

Brand Simplicity Score:

904

Industry:

Retail/Grocery


Up a notch on this year’s Simplicity Index is Lidl, the biggest rival to ALDI among German discount superstores. Respondents say Lidl lives up to its promise of “Quality for less.” The chain also gets lots of simplicity points for its “consistent tiered pricing” and its accessibility.

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6.
McDonald’s

Rank change from 2013:

-4

Brand Simplicity Score:

899

Industry:

Restaurants


McDonald’s has been fighting to win back frugal German customers who weren’t happy when the brand took its €1 cheeseburger off the menu. Nevertheless, respondents still love the simplicity of a place where “you understand everything” and the experience is “the same everywhere.”

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7.
BILD

Rank change from 2013:

-2

Brand Simplicity Score:

876

Industry:

Media


A mix of tabloid fodder and hard-news content has helped make BILD the best-selling daily in Germany and across Europe, too. Respondents happily subscribe to the paper’s use of images, and simple language, and its ability to summarize important information in a clear way. Or, as one respondent put it simply, “One does not need to be smart” to understand BILD.

8.
IKEA

Rank change from 2013:

-1

Brand Simplicity Score:

874

Industry:

Retail/General


Holding strong in the Top 10, IKEA, the purveyor of build-it-yourself furniture,actually finds its biggest market in Germany. Apparently, many Germans see IKEA’s minimalist, space-friendly products as stylish and culturally in synch—a view that has helped earn the brand the #8 spot this year.

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9.
Miele

Rank change from 2013:

0

Brand Simplicity Score:

873

Industry:

Appliances


Briskly efficient Miele—a family firm that manufactures high-end domestic appliances and commercial equipment—says it strives to be “Forever better.” And respondents say the quality and durability of its products deliver on that promise. The manufacturer is continually moving forward, too, offering simple and technologically advanced solutions such as a dryer that sends its owner an email when the filter needs cleaning.

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10.
Tchibo

Rank change from 2013:

+1

Brand Simplicity Score:

871

Industry:

Internet retail


High-profile coffee producer and retailer Tchibo rounds out the Top 10 on Germany’s Simplicity Index. Germany’s largest chain of cafés and coffee shops is famous for its weekly refresh of products (“Every week a new world”), including clothing, household items, electronics and appliances. Now offering customization, Tchibo is making it simple for consumers to order their own personal blends online.

11.
Edeka

Rank change from 2013:

+2

Brand Simplicity Score:

865

Industry:

Retail/Grocery

12.
Real

Rank change from 2013:

+7

Brand Simplicity Score:

865

Industry:

Retail/Grocery

13.
C&A

Rank change from 2013:

+1

Brand Simplicity Score:

864

Industry:

Retail/Fashion


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14.
REWE

Rank change from 2013:

+9

Brand Simplicity Score:

850

Industry:

Retail/Grocery

15.
Media Markt

Rank change from 2013:

+27

Brand Simplicity Score:

846

Industry:

Retail/General

16.
KIK

Rank change from 2013:

+17

Brand Simplicity Score:

845

Industry:

Retail/Fashion

17.
Samsung

Rank change from 2013:

-2

Brand Simplicity Score:

843

Industry:

Electronics

18.
Rossmann

Rank change from 2013:

-2

Brand Simplicity Score:

838

Industry:

Retail/Health and beauty

19.
DM

Rank change from 2013:

-7

Brand Simplicity Score:

837

Industry:

Retail/Health and beauty

20.
Müller

Rank change from 2013:

+9

Brand Simplicity Score:

832

Industry:

Retail/Health and beauty

21.
OTTO

Rank change from 2013:

+23

Brand Simplicity Score:

831

Industry:

Internet retail

22.
Burger King

Rank change from 2013:

-4

Brand Simplicity Score:

827

Industry:

Restaurants

23.
Bosch

Rank change from 2013:

+2

Brand Simplicity Score:

825

Industry:

Appliances

24.
Nordsee

Rank change from 2013:

-7

Brand Simplicity Score:

823

Industry:

Restaurants

25.
Zalando

Rank change from 2013:

-15

Brand Simplicity Score:

822

Industry:

Internet retail

26.
Budnikowski

Rank change from 2013:

+12

Brand Simplicity Score:

821

Industry:

Retail/Health and beauty

27.
Nokia

Rank change from 2013:

+33

Brand Simplicity Score:

819

Industry:

Electronics

28.
Saturn

Rank change from 2013:

+19

Brand Simplicity Score:

819

Industry:

Retail/General

29.
AEG

Rank change from 2013:

+30

Brand Simplicity Score:

816

Industry:

Appliances

30.
Sony

Rank change from 2013:

+26

Brand Simplicity Score:

815

Industry:

Electronics

31.
Kaufhof

Rank change from 2013:

0

Brand Simplicity Score:

815

Industry:

Retail/General

33.
Spiegel

Rank change from 2013:

+3

Brand Simplicity Score:

811

Industry:

Media

34.
BonPrix

Rank change from Previous Year:

N/A

Brand Simplicity Score:

808

Industry:

Retail/Fashion

35.
eBay

Rank change from 2013:

0

Brand Simplicity Score:

807

Industry:

Internet retail

36.
H&M

Rank change from 2013:

-16

Brand Simplicity Score:

807

Industry:

Retail/Fashion

37.
SUBWAY

Rank change from 2013:

+8

Brand Simplicity Score:

787

Industry:

Restaurants

38.
Hilton

Rank change from 2013:

+15

Brand Simplicity Score:

786

Industry:

Travel/Hotels

39.
Siemens

Rank change from 2013:

+28

Brand Simplicity Score:

786

Industry:

Electronics


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40.
Vox

Rank change from Previous Year:

N/A

Brand Simplicity Score:

786

Industry:

Media

41.
LG

Rank change from 2013:

+8

Brand Simplicity Score:

785

Industry:

Electronics


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42.
Volkswagen

Rank change from 2013:

-16

Brand Simplicity Score:

777

Industry:

Automotive

43.
Panasonic

Rank change from 2013:

+3

Brand Simplicity Score:

776

Industry:

Electronics

44.
Philips

Rank change from 2013:

+8

Brand Simplicity Score:

772

Industry:

Electronics

45.
Prosieben

Rank change from 2013:

-6

Brand Simplicity Score:

772

Industry:

Media

47.
RTL

Rank change from 2013:

-13

Brand Simplicity Score:

768

Industry:

Media

48.
SAT 1

Rank change from Previous Year:

N/A

Brand Simplicity Score:

766

Industry:

Media

49.
KFC

Rank change from 2013:

-27

Brand Simplicity Score:

763

Industry:

Restaurants

50.
Audi

Rank change from 2013:

0

Brand Simplicity Score:

760

Industry:

Automotive

51.
MEDIMAX

Rank change from 2013:

+29

Brand Simplicity Score:

756

Industry:

Retail/General

52.
ZARA

Rank change from 2013:

+26

Brand Simplicity Score:

751

Industry:

Retail/Fashion

53.
Ford

Rank change from 2013:

+35

Brand Simplicity Score:

751

Industry:

Automotive

54.
Karstadt

Rank change from 2013:

+15

Brand Simplicity Score:

750

Industry:

Retail/General

55.
Canon

Rank change from 2013:

-31

Brand Simplicity Score:

749

Industry:

Electronics

56.
BMW

Rank change from 2013:

-35

Brand Simplicity Score:

746

Industry:

Automotive

57.
Best Western

Rank change from 2013:

-30

Brand Simplicity Score:

741

Industry:

Travel/Hotels


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58.
Dell

Rank change from 2013:

+23

Brand Simplicity Score:

740

Industry:

Electronics

59.
EP/Elektronik Partner

Rank change from 2013:

+6

Brand Simplicity Score:

732

Industry:

Retail/General

60.
Deutsche Post/DHL

Rank change from 2013:

+10

Brand Simplicity Score:

726

Industry:

Shipping/Mail

61.
Mercedes-Benz

Rank change from 2013:

+15

Brand Simplicity Score:

726

Industry:

Automotive

62.
Marriott

Rank change from 2013:

-22

Brand Simplicity Score:

722

Industry:

Travel/Hotels

63.
Opel

Rank change from 2013:

+16

Brand Simplicity Score:

721

Industry:

Automotive

64.
Adidas

Rank change from 2013:

-27

Brand Simplicity Score:

718

Industry:

Fitness

65.
Sky

Rank change from 2013:

+21

Brand Simplicity Score:

711

Industry:

Media


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66.
Apple

Rank change from 2013:

-4

Brand Simplicity Score:

708

Industry:

Electronics

67.
Motorola

Rank change from 2013:

+23

Brand Simplicity Score:

705

Industry:

Electronics


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69.
Nike

Rank change from 2013:

-21

Brand Simplicity Score:

701

Industry:

Fitness

70.
HP

Rank change from 2013:

-2

Brand Simplicity Score:

699

Industry:

Electronics

71.
Reebok

Rank change from 2013:

-7

Brand Simplicity Score:

684

Industry:

Fitness

72.
Microsoft

Rank change from 2013:

+11

Brand Simplicity Score:

682

Industry:

Electronics

73.
Lufthansa

Rank change from 2013:

-16

Brand Simplicity Score:

679

Industry:

Travel/Air

74.
Holiday Inn

Rank change from 2013:

-42

Brand Simplicity Score:

678

Industry:

Travel/Hotels

75.
Skype

Rank change from 2013:

-32

Brand Simplicity Score:

676

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone

76.
Hermes

Rank change from 2013:

-2

Brand Simplicity Score:

668

Industry:

Shipping/Mail

77.
Puma

Rank change from 2013:

-11

Brand Simplicity Score:

666

Industry:

Fitness

78.
Toyota

Rank change from 2013:

-37

Brand Simplicity Score:

665

Industry:

Automotive

79.
ING-DiBa

Rank change from 2013:

-16

Brand Simplicity Score:

659

Industry:

Banks/Retail

80.
Sixt

Rank change from 2013:

+2

Brand Simplicity Score:

655

Industry:

Travel/Car rental

81.
Europcar

Rank change from 2013:

+6

Brand Simplicity Score:

654

Industry:

Travel/Car rental

82.
TUI

Rank change from 2013:

-9

Brand Simplicity Score:

651

Industry:

Travel/Booking

83.
Techniker Krankenkasse

Rank change from 2013:

-25

Brand Simplicity Score:

651

Industry:

Health insurance

84.
airberlin

Rank change from 2013:

-7

Brand Simplicity Score:

645

Industry:

Travel/Air

85.
AOK

Rank change from 2013:

+22

Brand Simplicity Score:

644

Industry:

Health insurance

86.
UPS

Rank change from 2013:

+11

Brand Simplicity Score:

634

Industry:

Shipping/Mail

87.
BARMER GEK

Rank change from 2013:

+12

Brand Simplicity Score:

606

Industry:

Health insurance

88.
Hertz

Rank change from 2013:

-3

Brand Simplicity Score:

605

Industry:

Travel/Car rental

89.
O2

Rank change from 2013:

+9

Brand Simplicity Score:

593

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone


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91.
iTunes

Rank change from 2013:

+1

Brand Simplicity Score:

590

Industry:

Internet retail

92.
Alltours

Rank change from 2013:

-31

Brand Simplicity Score:

587

Industry:

Travel/Booking

93.
Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken

Rank change from 2013:

-4

Brand Simplicity Score:

585

Industry:

Banks/Retail

94.
Avis

Rank change from 2013:

-10

Brand Simplicity Score:

585

Industry:

Travel/Car rental

95.
Sparkasse

Rank change from 2013:

-2

Brand Simplicity Score:

576

Industry:

Banks/Retail

96.
Vodafone

Rank change from 2013:

+5

Brand Simplicity Score:

576

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone

97.
Deutsche Postbank

Rank change from 2013:

-2

Brand Simplicity Score:

551

Industry:

Banks/Retail

98.
RWE

Rank change from 2013:

+4

Brand Simplicity Score:

545

Industry:

Utilities

99.
HypoVereinsbank

Rank change from 2013:

+13

Brand Simplicity Score:

539

Industry:

Banks/Retail

101.
Thomas Cook

Rank change from 2013:

-26

Brand Simplicity Score:

535

Industry:

Travel/Booking

102.
Commerzbank

Rank change from 2013:

+9

Brand Simplicity Score:

532

Industry:

Banks/Retail

103.
Vattenfall

Rank change from 2013:

+5

Brand Simplicity Score:

529

Industry:

Utilities


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105.
Deutsche Telekom

Rank change from 2013:

+14

Brand Simplicity Score:

500

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone

106.
Deutsche Bank

Rank change from 2013:

0

Brand Simplicity Score:

491

Industry:

Banks/Retail

107.
TARGOBANK

Rank change from 2013:

-4

Brand Simplicity Score:

489

Industry:

Banks/Retail

108.
E.ON

Rank change from 2013:

-3

Brand Simplicity Score:

486

Industry:

Utilities


The lights are on but consumers wonder whether anybody’s home at E.ON. The Düsseldorf-based energy company’s methods remain largely incomprehensible to consumers. Respondents complain about E.ON bills and complex pricing structures and the company’s “opaque” way of doing business, which turns out to be “very expensive.”

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109.
Ryanair

Rank change from 2013:

+9

Brand Simplicity Score:

450

Industry:

Travel/Air


“No frills” at the Dublin-headquartered Ryanair doesn’t translate into anything resembling simplicity—starting with its website. Respondents note that they get the feeling the airline tries to confuse the unsuspecting consumer so they can “catch” them in a web of hidden fees. Not surprisingly, customer service is seen as neither helpful nor sympathetic.

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111.
R+V Versicherung

Rank change from 2013:

+4

Brand Simplicity Score:

427

Industry:

General insurance


Respondents want general insurance brand R+V Versicherung to improve its customer service and be clearer in its communications. Those surveyed say “cumbersome contract management” with a “sneaky” feel continues to complicate matters and their interactions with the company.

112.
Wüstenrot

Rank change from 2013:

+5

Brand Simplicity Score:

412

Industry:

General insurance


Financial services and real estate group Wustenrot took a major tumble last year when it fell 22 places into the Bottom 10 of the Germany Simplicity Index, which is where it remains. Respondents see Wustenrot as one big ineffective bureaucracy. Wustenrot lacks clarity in regard to costs and offers, which consumers say leaves them feeling confused and unhappy.

113.
Deutsche Bahn

Rank change from 2013:

-3

Brand Simplicity Score:

408

Industry:

Travel/Train


This Berlin-based railway company seems to frustrate tourists and locals alike. Ticket machines are a prime target of complaints from respondents who find themselves derailed by incomprehensible pricing and head-scratching routes. But even those who bypass ticket machines and make their purchases online face frequent, and apparently unavoidable, delays. That’s simply no way to run a railroad.

114.
ERGO

Rank change from 2013:

0

Brand Simplicity Score:

400

Industry:

General insurance


The complexities that plague ERGO plague the entire insurance industry. Respondents say jargon at ERGO is widespread and debilitating, and that complicated presentations of terms and conditions leave them feeling confused and disoriented. Not to mention suspicious—respondents say they simply don’t trust ERGO.

115.
AXA

Rank change from 2013:

+1

Brand Simplicity Score:

397

Industry:

General insurance


Like the other insurance companies near or at the bottom of Simplicity Index in Germany and around the world, AXA’s opaque approach to business is a complicating factor for consumers. Contracts, respondents say, are time-consuming to read and possess lots of hard-to-see “gotchas.” Customer service at AXA is also considered a less than simple experience—that’s if, respondents say, you can get through.

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116.
Allianz

Rank change from 2013:

+6

Brand Simplicity Score:

387

Industry:

General insurance


Allianz, like many of its competitors, comes under fire for confusing contracts and the poor state of customer service. Respondents also say the brand is pricey, with one noting that the brand provides “expensive insurance that pays poorly.”

117.
Generali

Rank change from 2013:

+3

Brand Simplicity Score:

341

Industry:

General insurance


Generali didn’t have to fall far to drop to last place on the German Simplicity Index—it was only two spots from the bottom last year. It’s the same old story for the brand when it comes to concerns about insurance from respondents—complicated fees and conditions, too much paperwork, a lack of transparency that leads to mistrust, and prices that are considered too high.

Industry Rankings

2.
Appliances

Industry Simplicity Score:

821

Simplicity Premium:

4.3%

3.
Electronics

Industry Simplicity Score:

793

Simplicity Premium:

4.3%

4.
Retail/Grocery

Industry Simplicity Score:

780

Simplicity Premium:

4.4%

5.
Internet retail

Industry Simplicity Score:

774

Simplicity Premium:

3.7%

6.
Media

Industry Simplicity Score:

740

Simplicity Premium:

4.0%

7.
Retail/General

Industry Simplicity Score:

721

Simplicity Premium:

4.0%

8.
Restaurants

Industry Simplicity Score:

719

Simplicity Premium:

3.7%

9.
Retail/Health and beauty

Industry Simplicity Score:

687

Simplicity Premium:

4.2%

10.
Retail/Fashion

Industry Simplicity Score:

683

Simplicity Premium:

5.2%

11.
Shipping/Mail

Industry Simplicity Score:

681

Simplicity Premium:

3.0%

12.
Travel/Hotels

Industry Simplicity Score:

646

Simplicity Premium:

4.5%

13.
Telecom/Cell phone

Industry Simplicity Score:

589

Simplicity Premium:

3.7%

14.
Automotive

Industry Simplicity Score:

583

Simplicity Premium:

3.3%

15.
Travel/Air

Industry Simplicity Score:

578

Simplicity Premium:

4.2%

16.
Telecom/Cable

Industry Simplicity Score:

553

Simplicity Premium:

4.3%

17.
Health insurance

Industry Simplicity Score:

548

Simplicity Premium:

3.7%

18.
Utilities

Industry Simplicity Score:

544

Simplicity Premium:

3.5%

19.
Travel/Booking

Industry Simplicity Score:

516

Simplicity Premium:

4.1%

21.
Fitness

Industry Simplicity Score:

489

Simplicity Premium:

3.9%

22.
Travel/Train

Industry Simplicity Score:

477

Simplicity Premium:

3.9%

23.
Travel/Car rental

Industry Simplicity Score:

463

Simplicity Premium:

3.9%

24.
Banks/Retail

Industry Simplicity Score:

454

Simplicity Premium:

3.4%

25.
General insurance

Industry Simplicity Score:

240

Simplicity Premium:

3.1%

The simplicity premium

Depending on the industry, up to 24% of people are willing to pay more for simpler experiences and interactions. The amount they are willing to pay varies by industry, but is significant.

For simpler experiences, people would pay:

simplicityPremium_Germany_white_698
 

 

Money to be made

All brands can benefit from simplifying, but not all may benefit equally. To understand which brands in Germany can reap the greatest financial reward, and what they need to do to command more for their services, download the full report.