Middle
East

Brand Simplicity Index

3.
Samsung

Rank change from 2013:

0

Brand Simplicity Score:

892

Industry:

Electronics


Samsung holds steady at #3, benefiting from increased Internet penetration and the continual rollout of sleek mobile devices like Galaxy smartphones and the Galaxy Tab. Respondents say Samsung products are “easy to handle” and “keep pace with the times” while still remaining simple to use.

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4.
Sony

Rank change from 2013:

+4

Brand Simplicity Score:

855

Industry:

Electronics


Sony jumps four spots from #8 last year to #4 this year. Despite its recent struggles in the global marketplace, the brand still has a good reputation in the Middle East, where respondents praise the brand’s customer service and its wide range of innovative and easy-to-use products in general.

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5.
Panda

Rank change from 2013:

+22

Brand Simplicity Score:

839

Industry:

Retail/Grocery


Panda’s leap of 22 spots to #5 this year on the Middle East Simplicity Index speaks volumes about the retail chain, which is expanding across Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Consumers say Panda is “present everywhere,” conveniently offering a wide range of products “under one roof.”

6.
McDonald’s

Rank change from 2013:

+9

Brand Simplicity Score:

839

Industry:

Restaurants


McDonald's rejoins the Top 10 this year, with respondents citing its “no-fuss” approach to dining where “you get exactly what you pay for—nothing more, nothing less.” The fast-and-easy ethos, the proliferation of branches, easy access and the simple menu make McDonald’s once again a Top 10 finisher.

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7.
Dell

Rank change from 2013:

+7

Brand Simplicity Score:

838

Industry:

Electronics


Computer technology giant Dell rises to #7 on the Middle East Simplicity Index, up from #14 last year, with a renewed focus on delivering a reliable product that’s both cost- and user-efficient. It seems like that’s clicking with respondents who characterize the company’s products as high-quality, economically priced and user friendly.

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8.
HP

Rank change from 2013:

+4

Brand Simplicity Score:

835

Industry:

Electronics


HP is enjoying significant growth in the Middle East as a major provider of computing, printing, imaging and server equipment, and is rising in the ranks on the Simplicity Index. Respondents say their experience with HP just feels simple, with high-quality, customizable products for work and home that are “almost plug-and-play.”

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11.
Apple

Rank change from 2013:

-6

Brand Simplicity Score:

803

Industry:

Electronics

12.
Toshiba

Rank change from 2013:

-3

Brand Simplicity Score:

789

Industry:

Electronics

13.
Souq.com

Rank change from 2013:

+41

Brand Simplicity Score:

785

Industry:

Internet retail

14.
Al Baik

Rank change from 2013:

-8

Brand Simplicity Score:

772

Industry:

Restaurants

15.
Carrefour

Rank change from 2013:

-11

Brand Simplicity Score:

770

Industry:

Retail/Grocery


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16.
Gulf News

Rank change from 2013:

-5

Brand Simplicity Score:

759

Industry:

Media

17.
Pizza Hut

Rank change from 2013:

-7

Brand Simplicity Score:

759

Industry:

Restaurants

18.
LG

Rank change from 2013:

-5

Brand Simplicity Score:

750

Industry:

Electronics


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19.
eXtra

Rank change from 2013:

+27

Brand Simplicity Score:

746

Industry:

Retail/General

20.
KFC

Rank change from 2013:

-4

Brand Simplicity Score:

741

Industry:

Restaurants

21.
dr. CAFÉ

Rank change from 2013:

+19

Brand Simplicity Score:

738

Industry:

Restaurants

22.
Skype

Rank change from 2013:

+2

Brand Simplicity Score:

736

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone

24.
IKEA

Rank change from 2013:

-3

Brand Simplicity Score:

722

Industry:

Retail/General

25.
Herfy

Rank change from 2013:

+30

Brand Simplicity Score:

718

Industry:

Restaurants

26.
Philips

Rank change from 2013:

+25

Brand Simplicity Score:

716

Industry:

Electronics

27.
Emirates

Rank change from 2013:

-20

Brand Simplicity Score:

714

Industry:

Travel/Air

28.
Kudu

Rank change from 2013:

-2

Brand Simplicity Score:

710

Industry:

Restaurants

29.
Microsoft

Rank change from 2013:

+1

Brand Simplicity Score:

699

Industry:

Electronics

30.
Toyota

Rank change from 2013:

-8

Brand Simplicity Score:

698

Industry:

Automotive

31.
Adidas

Rank change from 2013:

+7

Brand Simplicity Score:

694

Industry:

Fitness

32.
Spinney’s

Rank change from 2013:

+41

Brand Simplicity Score:

693

Industry:

Retail/Grocery

33.
Etisalat

Rank change from 2013:

0

Brand Simplicity Score:

693

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone

34.
Mobily

Rank change from 2013:

+7

Brand Simplicity Score:

693

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone

35.
Asharq Al-Awsat

Rank change from 2013:

+8

Brand Simplicity Score:

690

Industry:

Media

36.
Nissan

Rank change from 2013:

-4

Brand Simplicity Score:

679

Industry:

Automotive

37.
Dnata

Rank change from Previous Year:

N/A

Brand Simplicity Score:

665

Industry:

Travel/Booking

38.
Alinma Bank

Rank change from 2013:

-1

Brand Simplicity Score:

660

Industry:

Banks/Retail

39.
Alriyadh

Rank change from 2013:

+10

Brand Simplicity Score:

656

Industry:

Media

40.
Fly Dubai

Rank change from 2013:

+31

Brand Simplicity Score:

653

Industry:

Travel/Air

41.
Choithrams

Rank change from Previous Year:

+26

Brand Simplicity Score:

653

Industry:

Retail/Grocery

42.
NCB

Rank change from 2013:

+68

Brand Simplicity Score:

643

Industry:

Banks/Retail

43.
FedEx

Rank change from 2013:

+36

Brand Simplicity Score:

642

Industry:

Shipping/Mail

44.
Nike

Rank change from 2013:

-10

Brand Simplicity Score:

641

Industry:

Fitness

45.
Dubai Metro

Rank change from 2013:

-27

Brand Simplicity Score:

640

Industry:

Travel/Train

46.
Home Centre

Rank change from 2013:

-11

Brand Simplicity Score:

638

Industry:

Retail/General

47.
Zain

Rank change from 2013:

-24

Brand Simplicity Score:

637

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone

48.
Chili’s

Rank change from 2013:

+5

Brand Simplicity Score:

631

Industry:

Restaurants

49.
Bank Al-Bilad

Rank change from 2013:

+13

Brand Simplicity Score:

630

Industry:

Banks/Retail

50.
BlackBerry

Rank change from 2013:

+15

Brand Simplicity Score:

623

Industry:

Electronics

51.
HTC

Rank change from 2013:

-15

Brand Simplicity Score:

622

Industry:

Electronics


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52.
SACO

Rank change from 2013:

-7

Brand Simplicity Score:

620

Industry:

Retail/General

53.
H&M

Rank change from 2013:

+13

Brand Simplicity Score:

617

Industry:

Retail/Fashion

54.
ZARA

Rank change from 2013:

+35

Brand Simplicity Score:

616

Industry:

Retail/Fashion

55.
STC

Rank change from 2013:

+45

Brand Simplicity Score:

616

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone

56.
Al Arabiya

Rank change from 2013:

+27

Brand Simplicity Score:

614

Industry:

Media

57.
Dubai TV

Rank change from 2013:

+38

Brand Simplicity Score:

611

Industry:

Media

58.
Gazzaz

Rank change from 2013:

+2

Brand Simplicity Score:

610

Industry:

Retail/Health and beauty

59.
Emirates NBD

Rank change from 2013:

+39

Brand Simplicity Score:

602

Industry:

Banks/Retail

60.
Amazon

Rank change from 2013:

N/A

Brand Simplicity Score:

602

Industry:

Internet retail

61.
du

Rank change from 2013:

-30

Brand Simplicity Score:

597

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone

62.
Puma

Rank change from 2013:

+1

Brand Simplicity Score:

590

Industry:

Fitness

63.
Topshop

Rank change from 2013:

+23

Brand Simplicity Score:

588

Industry:

Retail/Fashion


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64.
Sharaf DG

Rank change from 2013:

-45

Brand Simplicity Score:

586

Industry:

Retail/General

65.
Aramex

Rank change from 2013:

+4

Brand Simplicity Score:

586

Industry:

Shipping/Mail

66.
Paris Gallery
67.
Mercedes-Benz

Rank change from 2013:

-28

Brand Simplicity Score:

582

Industry:

Automotive

68.
Reebok

Rank change from 2013:

-12

Brand Simplicity Score:

580

Industry:

Fitness

69.
The Body Shop

Rank change from 2013:

-11

Brand Simplicity Score:

579

Industry:

Retail/Health and beauty

70.
Saudi Post

Rank change from 2013:

-9

Brand Simplicity Score:

573

Industry:

Shipping/Mail

71.
NEXT

Rank change from 2013:

+13

Brand Simplicity Score:

572

Industry:

Retail/Fashion

72.
GMC

Rank change from 2013:

+3

Brand Simplicity Score:

571

Industry:

Automotive

73.
Qatar Airways

Rank change from 2013:

+15

Brand Simplicity Score:

571

Industry:

Travel/Air

74.
MANGO

Rank change from 2013:

+2

Brand Simplicity Score:

567

Industry:

Retail/Fashion

75.
Etihad Airways

Rank change from 2013:

-23

Brand Simplicity Score:

562

Industry:

Travel/Air

76.
Lenovo

Rank change from 2013:

-29

Brand Simplicity Score:

562

Industry:

Electronics


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77.
Al Jazeera

Rank change from 2013:

-48

Brand Simplicity Score:

561

Industry:

Media

78.
Starbucks

Rank change from 2013:

-19

Brand Simplicity Score:

558

Industry:

Restaurants

79.
ADNOC

Rank change from 2013:

-2

Brand Simplicity Score:

555

Industry:

Utilities

80.
Al Tayyar

Rank change from 2013:

+19

Brand Simplicity Score:

551

Industry:

Travel/Booking

81.
Thrifty

Rank change from 2013:

+40

Brand Simplicity Score:

551

Industry:

Travel/Car rental

82.
Marriott

Rank change from 2013:

+15

Brand Simplicity Score:

550

Industry:

Travel/Hotels

83.
Sheraton

Rank change from 2013:

+9

Brand Simplicity Score:

547

Industry:

Travel/Hotels

84.
Al Rajhi Bank

Rank change from 2013:

-42

Brand Simplicity Score:

544

Industry:

Banks/Retail

85.
Siemens

Rank change from 2013:

-4

Brand Simplicity Score:

539

Industry:

Electronics


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86.
Budget

Rank change from 2013:

+18

Brand Simplicity Score:

539

Industry:

Travel/Car rental

87.
DHL

Rank change from 2013:

-2

Brand Simplicity Score:

534

Industry:

Shipping/Mail

88.
Gulf Air

Rank change from 2013:

-6

Brand Simplicity Score:

532

Industry:

Travel/Air

89.
Emirates Islamic Bank

Rank change from 2013:

+23

Brand Simplicity Score:

528

Industry:

Banks/Retail

91.
iTunes

Rank change from 2013:

0

Brand Simplicity Score:

520

Industry:

Internet retail

92.
Rotana

Rank change from 2013:

-29

Brand Simplicity Score:

520

Industry:

Travel/Hotels

93.
ENOC

Rank change from 2013:

-19

Brand Simplicity Score:

518

Industry:

Utilities

94.
SABB

Rank change from 2013:

-14

Brand Simplicity Score:

516

Industry:

Banks/Retail

95.
Saudi TV

Rank change from 2013:

+16

Brand Simplicity Score:

507

Industry:

Media

96.
Debenhams

Rank change from 2013:

-9

Brand Simplicity Score:

505

Industry:

Retail/General


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97.
Marks & Spencer

Rank change from 2013:

-49

Brand Simplicity Score:

493

Industry:

Retail/General


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98.
UPS

Rank change from 2013:

+17

Brand Simplicity Score:

490

Industry:

Shipping/Mail

99.
Tawuniya

Rank change from 2013:

-9

Brand Simplicity Score:

488

Industry:

General insurance

100.
Citibank

Rank change from 2013:

+8

Brand Simplicity Score:

480

Industry:

Banks/Retail


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101.
HSBC

Rank change from 2013:

+21

Brand Simplicity Score:

479

Industry:

Banks/Retail

102.
Flynas

Rank change from Previous Year:

N/A

Brand Simplicity Score:

476

Industry:

Travel/Air

103.
Holiday Inn

Rank change from 2013:

-39

Brand Simplicity Score:

474

Industry:

Travel/Hotels

104.
Boots

Rank change from 2013:

+9

Brand Simplicity Score:

474

Industry:

Retail/Health and beauty


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105.
Saudi Airlines

Rank change from 2013:

-11

Brand Simplicity Score:

470

Industry:

Travel/Air

106.
Bupa

Rank change from 2013:

-56

Brand Simplicity Score:

463

Industry:

Health insurance


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107.
Orbit Showtime Network

Rank change from 2013:

+10

Brand Simplicity Score:

451

Industry:

Media

108.
Diesel

Rank change from 2013:

-7

Brand Simplicity Score:

450

Industry:

Retail/Fashion

109.
Medgulf

Rank change from 2013:

+11

Brand Simplicity Score:

421

Industry:

General insurance

110.
Arab News

Rank change from 2013:

-90

Brand Simplicity Score:

411

Industry:

Media

111.
Saudi Railways

Rank change from 2013:

-15

Brand Simplicity Score:

407

Industry:

Travel/Train

112.
Hertz

Rank change from 2013:

+6

Brand Simplicity Score:

399

Industry:

Travel/Car rental

113.
Jumeirah

Rank change from 2013:

-4

Brand Simplicity Score:

389

Industry:

Travel/Hotels


Slipping four spots from last year, luxury hotel chain Jumeirah enters the Bottom 10 for the first time. Respondents cite complicated booking procedures that are “difficult to understand” and require too many steps.

114.
BMW

Rank change from 2013:

-46

Brand Simplicity Score:

388

Industry:

Automotive


The bottom falls out of BMW, which plummets 46 spots from last year and lands at #114 in 2014. Despite the brand’s popularity and a regional demand for luxury cars, respondents have problems with BMW’s complex engine systems, constant maintenance requirements and lack of accessible branches.

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115.
The National

Rank change from 2013:

-45

Brand Simplicity Score:

376

Industry:

Media


The National, an English-language daily newspaper published by government-owned Abu Dhabi Media, is another brand free-falling on the Middle East Simplicity Index. Down 45 spots year-to- year, it lands at #115. Impacted like all newspapers by an industry-wide shift to digital news platforms, respondents say the publication lacks relevance and is text-heavy, making it a less-than-easy read.

116.
The Saudi Investment Bank

Rank change from 2013:

-2

Brand Simplicity Score:

375

Industry:

Banks/Retail


Sounds like The Saudi Investment Bank need to invest in customer relations. Respondents say they have “difficulty doing bank transactions,” that terms and conditions are complex and clients are poorly treated.

117.
Oman Insurance Company

Rank change from 2013:

+2

Brand Simplicity Score:

372

Industry:

General insurance


No stranger to the Bottom 10, Oman Insurance Company has a major communication problem with its customers, who say things get “complex in [times] of emergency” and that the company offers “no communication and follow-up with customers.” Marketing materials also get called out for a lack of clarity.

118.
Avis

Rank change from 2013:

-16

Brand Simplicity Score:

366

Industry:

Travel/Car rental


There’s a general lack of brand recognition when it comes to Avis in the Middle East, which certainly doesn’t help its Simplicity Index standings. Those who are familiar with the brand, however, say renting a car is difficult—particularly because its presence is limited in the region—and involves “too many hassles.”

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119.
Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC)

Rank change from 2013:

-13

Brand Simplicity Score:

364

Industry:

General insurance


Though ADNIC is positioned as a premium insurance provider, respondents say the price they pay is too high for the service they get. Unclear communications full of technical language leave them guessing, as well as waiting “too long for authorization for medicines.”

120.
Daman

Rank change from 2013:

-17

Brand Simplicity Score:

343

Industry:

Health insurance


Like many other health insurance companies around the world, Daman—affiliated with the Abu Dhabi government—fares poorly in the world of simplicity. Paperwork, say respondents, is excessive, communications complex and customer service is not supportive.

121.
Audi

Rank change from 2013:

-5

Brand Simplicity Score:

275

Industry:

Automotive


Claims of poor service continue to drag Audi down on the Simplicity Index, with respondents citing a disparity between the company’s premium prices and its customer experience, which they call “unsatisfactory” and “not at the required level.”

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122.
AXA

Rank change from 2013:

+1

Brand Simplicity Score:

170

Industry:

General insurance


The multinational investment banking firm finds itself dead last for the second year in a row, with respondents pointing to AXA’s customer service—or lack of it—as a key culprit. One respondent said it took six months to resolve an issue, while another said “terms and conditions may be different from what is communicated.”

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Industry Rankings

2.
Electronics

Industry Simplicity Score:

823

Simplicity Premium:

6.6%

4.
Appliances

Industry Simplicity Score:

704

Simplicity Premium:

5.3%

5.
Restaurants

Industry Simplicity Score:

665

Simplicity Premium:

6.7%

6.
Media

Industry Simplicity Score:

660

Simplicity Premium:

6.0%

7.
Retail/Grocery

Industry Simplicity Score:

632

Simplicity Premium:

6.6%

8.
Telecom/Cell phone

Industry Simplicity Score:

562

Simplicity Premium:

5.9%

9.
Travel/Air

Industry Simplicity Score:

552

Simplicity Premium:

5.1%

10.
Retail/General

Industry Simplicity Score:

545

Simplicity Premium:

6.3%

11.
Travel/Booking

Industry Simplicity Score:

513

Simplicity Premium:

5.6%

12.
Travel/Hotels

Industry Simplicity Score:

491

Simplicity Premium:

6.0%

13.
Fitness

Industry Simplicity Score:

489

Simplicity Premium:

6.3%

14.
Internet retail

Industry Simplicity Score:

488

Simplicity Premium:

5.3%

15.
Retail/Health and beauty

Industry Simplicity Score:

485

Simplicity Premium:

5.9%

16.
Retail/Fashion

Industry Simplicity Score:

430

Simplicity Premium:

6.7%

17.
Utilities

Industry Simplicity Score:

421

Simplicity Premium:

4.8%

18.
Automotive

Industry Simplicity Score:

403

Simplicity Premium:

5.0%

19.
Health insurance

Industry Simplicity Score:

397

Simplicity Premium:

7.1%

20.
Telecom/Cable

Industry Simplicity Score:

354

Simplicity Premium:

6.0%

21.
Banks/Retail

Industry Simplicity Score:

339

Simplicity Premium:

5.1%

22.
Shipping/Mail

Industry Simplicity Score:

337

Simplicity Premium:

4.5%

23.
Travel/Train

Industry Simplicity Score:

331

Simplicity Premium:

5.6%

24.
Travel/Car rental

Industry Simplicity Score:

317

Simplicity Premium:

5.6%

25.
General insurance

Industry Simplicity Score:

240

Simplicity Premium:

7.0%

The simplicity premium

Depending on the industry, up to 55% 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_MiddleEast_white_698

Money to be made

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