United
Kingdom

Brand Simplicity Index

Here is how disruptive companies would have ranked in relation to their established industry peers.
1.
ALDI

Rank change from 2013:

+5

Brand Simplicity Score:

879

Industry:

Retail/Grocery


With profits up in the UK, more stores opening and yet more on the way, German-based discount grocer ALDI jumps to the top spot on the UK Simplicity Index. British consumers say they like the chain’s pared-down approach, the wealth of private-label products that don’t skimp on quality and the clear communications across the board.

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1.
Netflix

Brand Simplicity Score:

851

Industry:

Internet retail

2.
Amazon

Rank change from 2013:

-1

Brand Simplicity Score:

849

Industry:

Internet retail


Slipping from its top spot last year to #2, Amazon remains largely admired by customers and retailers alike in the UK. “It’s the leader,” says one respondent. “No other online retailer comes close to stock, price, customer service, etc…” Respondents also praise its one-stop shop simplicity, a website that makes it easy to browse, its price comparison feature and the one-click payment option.

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3.
Premier Inn

Rank change from 2013:

+1

Brand Simplicity Score:

831

Industry:

Travel/Hotels


The UK’s biggest hotel brand, Premier Inn, moves up one spot from last year. Respondents appreciate Premier Inn’s straightforward communication and standardized offering. Which means, says one respondent, “You know what you are getting.” When you add simple online booking with “easy terms [and] no extras,” you’ve got what it takes to reach the top.

4.
McDonald’s

Rank change from 2013:

-2

Brand Simplicity Score:

828

Industry:

Restaurants


The biggest fast-food chain in the world celebrates its 40th year in the UK, building goodwill by offering children books with their Happy Meals, sourcing ingredients from British farmers and launching its “Here’s to What Matters” ad campaign. Naturally, “quick and easy” remains a big selling point when it comes to simplicity and the success of the brand. Respondents say McDonald’s is always “clear on what they’re selling” and how much it costs.

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6.
John Lewis

Rank change from 2013:

+9

Brand Simplicity Score:

808

Industry:

Retail/General


Up nine spots from last year, John Lewis receives praise from respondents for being “classic and timeless.” The department store also wins points for open and honest communications, its easy-to-navigate website, helpful staff and the quality of its products. “You know exactly what John Lewis stands for,” says one respondent, adding, “Nothing complicates this.”

7.
Sainsbury’s

Rank change from 2013:

+6

Brand Simplicity Score:

808

Industry:

Retail/Grocery


Up six spots from #13 last year, Sainsbury’s wins simplicity points with respondents who appreciate “simple layouts” and the feeling that “whether in-store or online, it is reasonably easy to get through the checkout process. The supermarket chain is living up to its “Live well for less” tagline, improving customer experience by making its online shopping experience as simple as in-store.

8.
BBC

Rank change from 2013:

+27

Brand Simplicity Score:

805

Industry:

Media


Britain’s public service broadcaster—recognized at home and abroad as one of the world’s premier sources of news and entertainment—moves up a whopping 27 places on the UK Simplicity Index. Perhaps its “give red tape the red card” initiative last year, intended to simplify its notorious bureaucracy, has taken hold. Respondents say BBC programming is “top notch in clarity and quality” and find their experience improved by easy-to-access data and information and the absence of disruptive advertising content.

9.
ASDA

Rank change from 2013:

-4

Brand Simplicity Score:

804

Industry:

Retail/Grocery


ASDA remains a UK Top 10 finisher thanks to what respondents say is a “seamless” in-store shopping experience. Consumers give the supermarket chain simplicity points for well-marked aisles and “simple, bold language” as well as a consistent marketing message that supports ASDA’s “Price Lock” promise. Keeping the focus on everyday low prices and away from what some consider pricing gimmicks keeps ASDA simple, say respondents.

10.
First Direct

Rank change from 2013:

-7

Brand Simplicity Score:

793

Industry:

Banks/Retail


Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, telephone and online banking company First Direct—a challenger to High Street banks—reinforced its positioning as “the unexpected bank” and brought ATMs resembling Space Invader games and kitchen scales to, yes, High Street. Renowned for its simplified banking and customer-centric orientation, respondents say First Direct suits their lifestyle. With easy-to-understand language, others add, “They make it simple to get the right stuff done.”

2.
OVO Energy

Brand Simplicity Score:

791

Industry:

Utilities

3.
Airbnb

Brand Simplicity Score:

791

Industry:

Travel/Hotels


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11.
KFC

Rank change from 2013:

-3

Brand Simplicity Score:

773

Industry:

Restaurants

12.
IKEA

Rank change from 2013:

0

Brand Simplicity Score:

763

Industry:

Retail/General

13.
Primark

Rank change from 2013:

+16

Brand Simplicity Score:

760

Industry:

Retail/Fashion

14.
Waitrose

Rank change from 2013:

-3

Brand Simplicity Score:

758

Industry:

Retail/Grocery

15.
Boots

Rank change from 2013:

+1

Brand Simplicity Score:

756

Industry:

Retail/Health and beauty


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5.
Uber

Brand Simplicity Score:

753

Industry:

Travel/Car rental


This is also a story.

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6.
Spotify

Brand Simplicity Score:

752

Industry:

Internet retail


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16.
Travelodge

Rank change from 2013:

-2

Brand Simplicity Score:

751

Industry:

Travel/Hotels

7.
WhatsApp

Brand Simplicity Score:

747

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone


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17.
Burger King

Rank change from 2013:

+2

Brand Simplicity Score:

744

Industry:

Restaurants

18.
Superdrug

Rank change from 2013:

+6

Brand Simplicity Score:

743

Industry:

Retail/Health and beauty

19.
New Look

Rank change from 2013:

+11

Brand Simplicity Score:

740

Industry:

Retail/Fashion

20.
Holiday Inn

Rank change from 2013:

+5

Brand Simplicity Score:

740

Industry:

Travel/Hotels

21.
Lastminute.com

Rank change from 2013:

-11

Brand Simplicity Score:

729

Industry:

Travel/Booking

22.
Sony

Rank change from 2013:

+19

Brand Simplicity Score:

727

Industry:

Electronics

23.
Marks & Spencer

Rank change from 2013:

-2

Brand Simplicity Score:

726

Industry:

Retail/General


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8.
Eventbrite

Brand Simplicity Score:

726

Industry:

Internet retail

24.
Tesco

Rank change from 2013:

-6

Brand Simplicity Score:

724

Industry:

Retail/Grocery

25.
The Sun

Rank change from 2013:

+7

Brand Simplicity Score:

722

Industry:

Media

26.
Ford

Rank change from 2013:

+42

Brand Simplicity Score:

721

Industry:

Automotive

27.
Starbucks

Rank change from 2013:

-7

Brand Simplicity Score:

717

Industry:

Restaurants

28.
H&M

Rank change from 2013:

-6

Brand Simplicity Score:

709

Industry:

Retail/Fashion

29.
Samsung

Rank change from 2013:

+14

Brand Simplicity Score:

707

Industry:

Electronics

30.
Selfridges

Rank change from 2013:

+20

Brand Simplicity Score:

707

Industry:

Retail/General

10.
My Fitness Pal

Brand Simplicity Score:

703

Industry:

Fitness


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31.
Expedia

Rank change from 2013:

+11

Brand Simplicity Score:

702

Industry:

Travel/Booking


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11.
PayPal

Brand Simplicity Score:

701

Industry:

Banks/Retail


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32.
Groupon

Rank change from 2013:

+25

Brand Simplicity Score:

700

Industry:

Internet retail


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33.
eBay

Rank change from 2013:

+15

Brand Simplicity Score:

699

Industry:

Internet retail

34.
The Financial Times

Rank change from 2013:

+58

Brand Simplicity Score:

694

Industry:

Media

35.
Apple

Rank change from 2013:

-7

Brand Simplicity Score:

694

Industry:

Electronics

37.
The Co-operative Food

Rank change from 2013:

+14

Brand Simplicity Score:

693

Industry:

Retail/Grocery

38.
Nokia

Rank change from 2013:

+8

Brand Simplicity Score:

692

Industry:

Electronics


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40.
BHS

Rank change from 2013:

+4

Brand Simplicity Score:

689

Industry:

Retail/General

41.
Panasonic

Rank change from 2013:

+4

Brand Simplicity Score:

684

Industry:

Electronics

42.
Topshop

Rank change from 2013:

-6

Brand Simplicity Score:

682

Industry:

Retail/Fashion


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13.
Dropbox

Brand Simplicity Score:

681

Industry:

Internet retail

43.
Nationwide

Rank change from 2013:

N/A

Brand Simplicity Score:

680

Industry:

Banks/Retail

44.
Bosch

Rank change from 2013:

+12

Brand Simplicity Score:

679

Industry:

Appliances


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45.
Nike

Rank change from 2013:

+20

Brand Simplicity Score:

674

Industry:

Fitness

46.
Virgin Atlantic

Rank change from 2013:

-37

Brand Simplicity Score:

673

Industry:

Travel/Air

47.
Philips

Rank change from 2013:

+11

Brand Simplicity Score:

672

Industry:

Electronics

48.
Adidas

Rank change from 2013:

+7

Brand Simplicity Score:

671

Industry:

Fitness

49.
Canon

Rank change from 2013:

0

Brand Simplicity Score:

671

Industry:

Electronics

50.
Royal Mail

Rank change from 2013:

+45

Brand Simplicity Score:

670

Industry:

Shipping/Mail

51.
Three

Rank change from 2013:

+28

Brand Simplicity Score:

667

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone

52.
Monarch Air

Rank change from Previous Year:

N/A

Brand Simplicity Score:

666

Industry:

Travel/Air

53.
Debenhams

Rank change from 2013:

-26

Brand Simplicity Score:

666

Industry:

Retail/General


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54.
Vauxhall

Rank change from 2013:

+16

Brand Simplicity Score:

665

Industry:

Automotive

55.
iTunes

Rank change from 2013:

-8

Brand Simplicity Score:

664

Industry:

Internet retail

56.
British Airways

Rank change from 2013:

-23

Brand Simplicity Score:

661

Industry:

Travel/Air


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14.
Nest

Brand Simplicity Score:

661

Industry:

Appliances


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57.
Dell

Rank change from 2013:

+7

Brand Simplicity Score:

658

Industry:

Electronics

15.
TSB

Brand Simplicity Score:

657

Industry:

Banks/Retail

58.
The Guardian

Rank change from 2013:

+13

Brand Simplicity Score:

657

Industry:

Media

59.
Gap

Rank change from 2013:

+1

Brand Simplicity Score:

655

Industry:

Retail/Fashion


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60.
Peugeot

Rank change from 2013:

+20

Brand Simplicity Score:

653

Industry:

Automotive


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62.
easyJet

Rank change from 2013:

+32

Brand Simplicity Score:

651

Industry:

Travel/Air

63.
DHL

Rank change from 2013:

+26

Brand Simplicity Score:

650

Industry:

Shipping/Mail

65.
Churchill

Rank change from 2013:

+35

Brand Simplicity Score:

647

Industry:

General insurance

66.
BMW

Rank change from 2013:

-7

Brand Simplicity Score:

646

Industry:

Automotive

67.
Mercedes-Benz

Rank change from 2013:

-15

Brand Simplicity Score:

644

Industry:

Automotive


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68.
Virgin Media

Rank change from 2013:

+19

Brand Simplicity Score:

644

Industry:

Telecom/Cable

69.
The Times

Rank change from 2013:

-15

Brand Simplicity Score:

639

Industry:

Media

70.
Channel 4

Rank change from 2013:

-47

Brand Simplicity Score:

639

Industry:

Media

71.
ZARA

Rank change from 2013:

-32

Brand Simplicity Score:

637

Industry:

Retail/Fashion

72.
HP

Rank change from 2013:

+19

Brand Simplicity Score:

637

Industry:

Electronics

16.
RunKeeper

Brand Simplicity Score:

637

Industry:

Fitness


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73.
Skype

Rank change from 2013:

0

Brand Simplicity Score:

636

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone

17.
Metro Bank

Brand Simplicity Score:

629

Industry:

Banks/Retail

74.
Lufthansa

Rank change from 2013:

-7

Brand Simplicity Score:

628

Industry:

Travel/Air


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75.
Puma

Rank change from 2013:

N/A

Brand Simplicity Score:

624

Industry:

Fitness

76.
Reebok

Rank change from 2013:

+12

Brand Simplicity Score:

623

Industry:

Fitness

77.
Hilton

Rank change from 2013:

-51

Brand Simplicity Score:

621

Industry:

Travel/Hotels

78.
Renault

Rank change from 2013:

-3

Brand Simplicity Score:

620

Industry:

Automotive

79.
O2

Rank change from 2013:

+5

Brand Simplicity Score:

615

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone


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80.
Toyota

Rank change from 2013:

-43

Brand Simplicity Score:

608

Industry:

Automotive

81.
Microsoft

Rank change from 2013:

+20

Brand Simplicity Score:

604

Industry:

Electronics

82.
NatWest

Rank change from 2013:

+8

Brand Simplicity Score:

602

Industry:

Banks/Retail

83.
Intercontinental

Rank change from Previous Year:

N/A

Brand Simplicity Score:

599

Industry:

Travel/Hotels

84.
Virgin Money

Rank change from 2013:

-15

Brand Simplicity Score:

596

Industry:

Banks/Retail

85.
Parcelforce Worldwide

Rank change from 2013:

-3

Brand Simplicity Score:

595

Industry:

Shipping/Mail

86.
Sky

Rank change from 2013:

+11

Brand Simplicity Score:

595

Industry:

Telecom/Cable


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87.
Barclays

Rank change from 2013:

-2

Brand Simplicity Score:

593

Industry:

Banks/Retail

88.
HSBC

Rank change from 2013:

-27

Brand Simplicity Score:

593

Industry:

Banks/Retail


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89.
The Cooperative Bank

Rank change from 2013:

-51

Brand Simplicity Score:

591

Industry:

Banks/Retail

90.
Volkswagen

Rank change from 2013:

-50

Brand Simplicity Score:

589

Industry:

Automotive

91.
Audi

Rank change from 2013:

-8

Brand Simplicity Score:

589

Industry:

Automotive


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92.
Santander

Rank change from 2013:

+27

Brand Simplicity Score:

587

Industry:

Banks/Retail

93.
Virgin Mobile

Rank change from 2013:

-15

Brand Simplicity Score:

583

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone


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94.
Harrod’s

Rank change from Previous Year:

N/A

Brand Simplicity Score:

579

Industry:

Retail/Fashion

95.
Hertz

Rank change from 2013:

+3

Brand Simplicity Score:

575

Industry:

Travel/Car rental

96.
FedEx

Rank change from 2013:

+7

Brand Simplicity Score:

574

Industry:

Shipping/Mail

97.
Barclays Direct

Rank change from Previous Year:

N/A

Brand Simplicity Score:

571

Industry:

Banks/Retail

100.
Lloyds TSB

Rank change from 2013:

-4

Brand Simplicity Score:

555

Industry:

Banks/Retail

102.
Vodafone

Rank change from 2013:

0

Brand Simplicity Score:

548

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone


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103.
Aviva

Rank change from 2013:

+2

Brand Simplicity Score:

546

Industry:

Health insurance

104.
EE (Everything Everywhere)

Rank change from 2013:

+6

Brand Simplicity Score:

540

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone

105.
UPS

Rank change from 2013:

-25

Brand Simplicity Score:

534

Industry:

Shipping/Mail

106.
BT

Rank change from 2013:

+8

Brand Simplicity Score:

531

Industry:

Telecom/Cable

18.
Wonga

Brand Simplicity Score:

526

Industry:

Banks/Retail

107.
EDF Energy

Rank change from 2013:

-35

Brand Simplicity Score:

525

Industry:

Utilities

108.
The Royal Bank of Scotland

Rank change from 2013:

+5

Brand Simplicity Score:

508

Industry:

Banks/Retail

109.
TalkTalk

Rank change from 2013:

-3

Brand Simplicity Score:

508

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone

110.
Avis

Rank change from 2013:

-33

Brand Simplicity Score:

494

Industry:

Travel/Car rental

111.
SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy)

Rank change from 2013:

+9

Brand Simplicity Score:

485

Industry:

Utilities


There’s been a small surge in the right direction for energy supplier SSE—perhaps generated from the goodwill it won from its association with the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014. But the UK’s second largest energy company remains, nevertheless, in the Bottom 10. Respondents say their bills are difficult to understand and that SSE “seems to make things more complicated than is necessary,” a condition made worse by “very pushy agents who give unclear advice.”

113.
British Gas

Rank change from 2013:

+8

Brand Simplicity Score:

471

Industry:

Utilities


British Gas extols the virtues of simplicity in its marketing campaigns, mentioning right up front in one commercial that they are always “seeking ways to make life simpler for their customers.” Respondents don’t see it that way. Bills are long and complicated, they say, calling the wording “sneaky” and full of “gobbledygook.” So much so, says one respondent: “I feel they are always trying to cheat you.”

114.
Ryanair

Rank change from 2013:

+10

Brand Simplicity Score:

467

Industry:

Travel/Air


Although they are up from the absolute bottom last year, Ryanair still isn’t flying high. Ask consumers about the low-cost airline, and they’ll likely note the poorly designed website, abysmal customer service and tell you “all the onus is on the passenger.” Complaints that the airline is generally misleading are coupled with mentions of an “irritating” abundance of extra fees and an app that makes life harder not easier.

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115.
E.ON

Rank change from 2013:

-29

Brand Simplicity Score:

464

Industry:

Utilities


German-owned energy supplier E.ON has had a rough year and it’s showing everywhere—from slumping profits to a precipitous drop in its place on the UK Simplicity Index. As one of six major energy companies under investigation for alleged profiteering, E.ON is not alone. Still, not surprisingly, respondents were particularly vocal about the company’s lack of transparency. “Completely untrustworthy,” says one, adding, “I wouldn’t believe a word they write.”

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116.
Bupa

Rank change from 2013:

-8

Brand Simplicity Score:

460

Industry:

Health insurance


A debilitating combination of unclear pricing, excessive jargon and controversial care home practices lands healthcare provider Bupa in the Bottom 10 of the UK Simplicity Index. Respondents say a complex pricing structure with different fees for identical services has taken their toll on trust in the brand.

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117.
BlackBerry

Rank change from 2013:

-8

Brand Simplicity Score:

456

Industry:

Electronics


It seems like just yesterday that BlackBerry was an iconic brand at the forefront of communications technology. But yesterday is an eternity in the world of telecommunications, and the word that comes to mind when respondents think of BlackBerry these days is “outdated.” BlackBerry devices simply “are not intuitive,” say those surveyed, describing the devices as “old-fashioned” and “too complicated to use.”

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118.
NPower

Rank change from 2013:

+5

Brand Simplicity Score:

418

Industry:

Utilities


NPower is almost in a league of its own when it comes to dissatisfied consumers. The energy giant has lost 62,000 household customers over the past year and has been receiving complaints at the rate of 120,000 - 130,000-plus a month since a computer glitch resulted in havoc with its billing system. When bills do arrive, say respondents, they’re confusing, complex and “the customer is always the loser in the end.”

119.
ScottishPower

Rank change from 2013:

-3

Brand Simplicity Score:

388

Industry:

Utilities


“Is ScottishPower now the worst firm for bill bungles?” reads one of many headlines tracking the billing travails of customers for both NPower and Scottish Power. At last check, Scottish Power seemed to have a slight edge in that dubious race—as is the case on the Simplicity Index. “Untrustworthy,” says one respondent. “If you need information, you may have to go through four or more staff and then get no answer,” says another.

120.
AXA PPP Healthcare

Rank change from 2013:

-3

Brand Simplicity Score:

373

Industry:

Health insurance


AXA PP healthcare is one of the biggest health insurance providers in the UK and, apparently, its most complicated, too. Health insurance is complicated enough, complains one respondent. But in the case of AXA PP healthcare “even the name is complicated.” There’s a widespread perception that the company is deceitful, “designed to confuse” with “insurance-speak” and lots of small print. That combination is a sure way to drive your brand to the bottom of the UK Simplicity Index.

Industry Rankings

2.
Internet retail

Industry Simplicity Score:

808

Simplicity Premium:

3.3%

3.
Retail/Grocery

Industry Simplicity Score:

752

Simplicity Premium:

3.2%

4.
Appliances

Industry Simplicity Score:

730

Simplicity Premium:

3.9%

5.
Restaurants

Industry Simplicity Score:

720

Simplicity Premium:

4.4%

6.
Retail/General

Industry Simplicity Score:

663

Simplicity Premium:

2.6%

7.
Electronics

Industry Simplicity Score:

646

Simplicity Premium:

3.5%

8.
Travel/Hotels

Industry Simplicity Score:

622

Simplicity Premium:

4.0%

9.
Retail/Fashion

Industry Simplicity Score:

593

Simplicity Premium:

3.5%

10.
Media

Industry Simplicity Score:

584

Simplicity Premium:

3.5%

11.
Travel/Booking

Industry Simplicity Score:

582

Simplicity Premium:

3.2%

12.
Retail/Health and beauty

Industry Simplicity Score:

581

Simplicity Premium:

3.5%

13.
Travel/Air

Industry Simplicity Score:

539

Simplicity Premium:

3.9%

14.
Automotive

Industry Simplicity Score:

539

Simplicity Premium:

3.9%

15.
Shipping/Mail

Industry Simplicity Score:

505

Simplicity Premium:

2.7%

16.
Telecom/Cell phone

Industry Simplicity Score:

504

Simplicity Premium:

3.3%

17.
Banks/Retail

Industry Simplicity Score:

492

Simplicity Premium:

3.2%

18.
Telecom/Cable

Industry Simplicity Score:

485

Simplicity Premium:

3.1%

19.
Travel/Train

Industry Simplicity Score:

470

Simplicity Premium:

3.5%

21.
Fitness

Industry Simplicity Score:

446

Simplicity Premium:

4.6%

22.
Travel/Car rental

Industry Simplicity Score:

359

Simplicity Premium:

3.3%

23.
Utilities

Industry Simplicity Score:

330

Simplicity Premium:

3.2%

24.
General insurance

Industry Simplicity Score:

275

Simplicity Premium:

3.2%

25.
Health insurance

Industry Simplicity Score:

240

Simplicity Premium:

3.2%

The simplicity premium

Depending on the industry, up to 32% 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_UK_white_698

Money to be made

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