United
States

Brand Simplicity Index

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

Brand Simplicity Score:

944

Industry:

Restaurants

2.
Uber

Brand Simplicity Score:

924

Industry:

Travel/Car rental


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1.
Zappos.com

Rank change from 2013:

+4

Brand Simplicity Score:

914

Industry:

Internet retail


Zappos.com has long been a great bet to take the top spot on the US Simplicity Index with its famously easy-to-maneuver website and easy-to-return policy. Rising four spots from last year, the online shoe and clothing store continues to up the ante with an innovative approach that includes personalized shopping tips linked to Instagram #OOTD (outfit of the day) selfies.

3.
Aereo

Brand Simplicity Score:

911

Industry:

Telecom/Cable

4.
Warby Parker

Brand Simplicity Score:

910

Industry:

Retail/Fashion

5.
FreshDirect

Brand Simplicity Score:

910

Industry:

Retail/Grocery

2.
Amazon

Rank change from 2013:

-1

Brand Simplicity Score:

894

Industry:

Internet retail


Amazon—which owns, Zappos.com, the #1 brand on the US Simplicity Index—finishes at #2. Consumers, as always, praise Amazon for the breadth of the products and the simple online shopping experience it provides—including navigation that allows users to easily compare prices. “Amazon gets it right EVERY TIME,” says one respondent.

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6.
Blue Apron

Brand Simplicity Score:

891

Industry:

Retail/Grocery

7.
Square

Brand Simplicity Score:

880

Industry:

Banks/Retail

8.
Venmo

Brand Simplicity Score:

859

Industry:

Banks/Retail

3.
SUBWAY

Rank change from 2013:

+1

Brand Simplicity Score:

840

Industry:

Restaurants


Consumers say it’s consistency that makes SUBWAY simple. “SUBWAY products are almost everywhere, and their products are similar no matter where you see them,” says one respondent. The brand also wins points for its uncomplicated menu and personalized approach to sandwich-making.

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9.
Seamless

Brand Simplicity Score:

823

Industry:

Restaurants

4.
Pizza Hut

Rank change from 2013:

+7

Brand Simplicity Score:

822

Industry:

Restaurants


Pizza Hut continues its rise through the US Simplicity Index ranks, shooting to #4 this year from #11 last year. It looks like online ordering plays a big role—respondents call Pizza Hut’s app “the best and the easiest” and say they appreciate the chain’s straightforward approach. "They explain their deals up front. No gimmicks." says another respondent.

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5.
Netflix

Rank change from 2013:

-3

Brand Simplicity Score:

821

Industry:

Internet retail


Survey respondents say they love Netflix’s flat fees, ease of use and the ability to sign up or cancel without much hassle. There’s no question the influence of the movie-rental and streaming media giant is bigger than ever. The brand that brought us “binge watching” has also become a recognized creative force in original content, collecting 7 Emmy wins in 2014.

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6.
Trader Joe’s

Rank change from 2013:

+6

Brand Simplicity Score:

819

Industry:

Retail/Grocery


The California-based grocery store chain makes its first appearance in our US Top 10 since 2010, jumping from #12 to #6. Less is more at Trader Joe’s, consumers say because narrowed choices make the shopping experience less complicated. And the “super-friendly staff” and “yummy tasting center,” say respondents, keep the experience nice and fresh.

7.
Kroger

Rank change from 2013:

+11

Brand Simplicity Score:

817

Industry:

Retail/Grocery


Kroger, the country’s largest supermarket chain, is up from the #18 spot on our US Simplicity Index last year. Respondents say Kroger’s simple store layout, easy couponing and clear communications bring them in and keep them coming back.

8.
McDonald’s

Rank change from 2013:

-5

Brand Simplicity Score:

814

Industry:

Restaurants


When you’ve got a good thing going like McDonald’s does, the simple thing to do is not mess with success. US respondents certainly have few complaints, satisfied that McDonald’s continues to mostly do what it does best, which is providing quick service and a "simple menu with simple pricing." The brand also wins points with consumers for its consistency across locations and low-priced value meals.

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9.
Chipotle

Rank change from Previous Year:

N/A

Brand Simplicity Score:

812

Industry:

Restaurants


Chipotle Mexican Grill gets off to a great start in its very first appearance in our survey with a Top 10 debut. Clearly, the chain’s “Food With Integrity” message is getting through. Respondents praise the restaurant for its “easy-to-order, customizable menu” and its “healthy, good ingredients.”

10.
Dunkin’ Donuts

Rank change from 2013:

-4

Brand Simplicity Score:

810

Industry:

Restaurants


Dunkin’ Donuts remains a consistent Top 10 finisher on the US Simplicity Index. Again, consistency goes a long way with consumers that value simplicity. “I can always count on them to understand my order and make it quickly,” says one respondent. It’s that kind of walk-in walk-out efficiency that makes it simple for America to “run on Dunkin'.”

10.
PeaPod

Brand Simplicity Score:

793

Industry:

Retail/Grocery

11.
Honda

Rank change from 2013:

+36

Brand Simplicity Score:

785

Industry:

Automotive

11.
GoPro

Brand Simplicity Score:

783

Industry:

Electronics

12.
VRBO

Brand Simplicity Score:

781

Industry:

Travel/Hotels

13.
Spotify

Brand Simplicity Score:

771

Industry:

Internet retail


Also view in:

13.
Burger King

Rank change from 2013:

0

Brand Simplicity Score:

768

Industry:

Restaurants

14.
Pandora

Brand Simplicity Score:

762

Industry:

Internet retail

14.
Southwest Airlines

Rank change from 2013:

-5

Brand Simplicity Score:

758

Industry:

Travel/Air

15.
RunKeeper

Brand Simplicity Score:

758

Industry:

Fitness


Also view in:

15.
Starbucks

Rank change from 2013:

-5

Brand Simplicity Score:

744

Industry:

Restaurants

16.
Nest

Brand Simplicity Score:

738

Industry:

Appliances


Also view in:

17.
My Fitness Pal

Brand Simplicity Score:

737

Industry:

Fitness


Also view in:

16.
UPS

Rank change from 2013:

+23

Brand Simplicity Score:

737

Industry:

Shipping/Mail

17.
Safeway

Rank change from 2013:

+28

Brand Simplicity Score:

737

Industry:

Retail/Grocery

18.
KAYAK

Rank change from 2013:

+37

Brand Simplicity Score:

736

Industry:

Travel/Booking

18.
Etsy

Brand Simplicity Score:

735

Industry:

Internet retail

19.
Craigslist

Rank change from 2013:

N/A

Brand Simplicity Score:

734

Industry:

Internet retail

20.
IKEA

Rank change from 2013:

-4

Brand Simplicity Score:

733

Industry:

Retail/General

21.
Apple

Rank change from 2013:

0

Brand Simplicity Score:

726

Industry:

Electronics

22.
KFC

Rank change from 2013:

-8

Brand Simplicity Score:

726

Industry:

Restaurants

23.
Publix

Rank change from 2013:

-16

Brand Simplicity Score:

718

Industry:

Retail/Grocery

19.
Google Wallet

Brand Simplicity Score:

704

Industry:

Banks/Retail

20.
Delivery.com

Brand Simplicity Score:

703

Industry:

Restaurants

21.
Airbnb

Brand Simplicity Score:

703

Industry:

Travel/Hotels


Also view in:

26.
Target

Rank change from 2013:

-11

Brand Simplicity Score:

699

Industry:

Retail/General

27.
Victoria’s Secret

Rank change from 2013:

+16

Brand Simplicity Score:

697

Industry:

Retail/Fashion

28.
JetBlue Airways

Rank change from 2013:

+16

Brand Simplicity Score:

697

Industry:

Travel/Air

29.
FedEx

Rank change from 2013:

-3

Brand Simplicity Score:

697

Industry:

Shipping/Mail

30.
Old Navy

Rank change from 2013:

-8

Brand Simplicity Score:

693

Industry:

Retail/Fashion

31.
Sephora

Rank change from 2013:

+46

Brand Simplicity Score:

689

Industry:

Retail/Health and beauty


Also view in:

32.
Days Inn

Rank change from 2013:

+37

Brand Simplicity Score:

688

Industry:

Travel/Hotels

22.
Soap.com

Brand Simplicity Score:

685

Industry:

Retail/Health and beauty

33.
Samsung

Rank change from 2013:

+8

Brand Simplicity Score:

684

Industry:

Electronics

23.
FitBit

Brand Simplicity Score:

682

Industry:

Fitness

24.
PayPal

Brand Simplicity Score:

676

Industry:

Banks/Retail


Also view in:

35.
Nike

Rank change from 2013:

+24

Brand Simplicity Score:

676

Industry:

Fitness

36.
Best Western

Rank change from 2013:

+27

Brand Simplicity Score:

673

Industry:

Travel/Hotels


Also view in:

37.
CVS/pharmacy

Rank change from 2013:

+14

Brand Simplicity Score:

673

Industry:

Retail/Health and beauty

39.
Walgreens

Rank change from 2013:

-8

Brand Simplicity Score:

669

Industry:

Retail/Health and beauty

25.
Ally

Brand Simplicity Score:

667

Industry:

Banks/Retail

40.
iTunes

Rank change from 2013:

0

Brand Simplicity Score:

667

Industry:

Internet retail

26.
Jawbone UP

Brand Simplicity Score:

665

Industry:

Fitness

41.
Whole Foods Market

Rank change from 2013:

-17

Brand Simplicity Score:

664

Industry:

Retail/Grocery

42.
USPS

Rank change from 2013:

+10

Brand Simplicity Score:

664

Industry:

Shipping/Mail

43.
eBay

Rank change from 2013:

-18

Brand Simplicity Score:

660

Industry:

Internet retail

44.
Comfort Inn

Rank change from 2013:

+6

Brand Simplicity Score:

658

Industry:

Travel/Hotels

45.
Whirlpool

Rank change from 2013:

-7

Brand Simplicity Score:

655

Industry:

Appliances

46.
Gap

Rank change from 2013:

+27

Brand Simplicity Score:

655

Industry:

Retail/Fashion

27.
Gilt

Brand Simplicity Score:

655

Industry:

Retail/Fashion

48.
Marriott

Rank change from 2013:

-20

Brand Simplicity Score:

652

Industry:

Travel/Hotels

49.
Hilton

Rank change from 2013:

+4

Brand Simplicity Score:

649

Industry:

Travel/Hotels

50.
Holiday Inn

Rank change from 2013:

-17

Brand Simplicity Score:

648

Industry:

Travel/Hotels

51.
Walmart

Rank change from 2013:

-28

Brand Simplicity Score:

647

Industry:

Retail/General


Also view in:

52.
Ford

Rank change from 2013:

-4

Brand Simplicity Score:

642

Industry:

Automotive

53.
Sony

Rank change from 2013:

-7

Brand Simplicity Score:

641

Industry:

Electronics

54.
Albertsons

Rank change from 2013:

-24

Brand Simplicity Score:

640

Industry:

Retail/Grocery

55.
Toyota

Rank change from 2013:

-28

Brand Simplicity Score:

639

Industry:

Automotive

56.
Chevrolet

Rank change from 2013:

+22

Brand Simplicity Score:

637

Industry:

Automotive

57.
Volkswagen

Rank change from 2013:

-3

Brand Simplicity Score:

635

Industry:

Automotive

58.
Groupon

Rank change from 2013:

-39

Brand Simplicity Score:

634

Industry:

Internet retail

59.
Progressive

Rank change from 2013:

+17

Brand Simplicity Score:

632

Industry:

General insurance

60.
H&M

Rank change from 2013:

-23

Brand Simplicity Score:

630

Industry:

Retail/Fashion

61.
Macy’s

Rank change from 2013:

-27

Brand Simplicity Score:

630

Industry:

Retail/General

62.
USA Today

Rank change from 2013:

-27

Brand Simplicity Score:

629

Industry:

Media

63.
Adidas

Rank change from 2013:

-1

Brand Simplicity Score:

627

Industry:

Fitness

28.
Buzzfeed

Brand Simplicity Score:

627

Industry:

Media

64.
Dodge

Rank change from 2013:

+32

Brand Simplicity Score:

625

Industry:

Automotive

65.
Maytag

Rank change from 2013:

-33

Brand Simplicity Score:

624

Industry:

Appliances

66.
Dell

Rank change from 2013:

-2

Brand Simplicity Score:

623

Industry:

Electronics

67.
Panasonic

Rank change from 2013:

+7

Brand Simplicity Score:

617

Industry:

Electronics

68.
Rite Aid Pharmacy

Rank change from 2013:

+14

Brand Simplicity Score:

616

Industry:

Retail/Health and beauty

69.
Expedia

Rank change from 2013:

-4

Brand Simplicity Score:

614

Industry:

Travel/Booking

70.
GE

Rank change from 2013:

+5

Brand Simplicity Score:

611

Industry:

Appliances

72.
GEICO

Rank change from 2013:

0

Brand Simplicity Score:

606

Industry:

General insurance

73.
Reebok

Rank change from 2013:

-7

Brand Simplicity Score:

603

Industry:

Fitness

29.
Beats Radio

Brand Simplicity Score:

602

Industry:

Internet retail

74.
Enterprise

Rank change from 2013:

-17

Brand Simplicity Score:

601

Industry:

Travel/Car rental

75.
Ramada

Rank change from 2013:

-4

Brand Simplicity Score:

601

Industry:

Travel/Hotels

76.
Kmart

Rank change from 2013:

-34

Brand Simplicity Score:

595

Industry:

Retail/General

77.
Orbitz

Rank change from 2013:

-17

Brand Simplicity Score:

593

Industry:

Travel/Booking

78.
HP

Rank change from 2013:

+3

Brand Simplicity Score:

589

Industry:

Electronics

30.
BleacherReport

Brand Simplicity Score:

589

Industry:

Media

79.
T-Mobile

Rank change from 2013:

+6

Brand Simplicity Score:

589

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone

31.
Tesla

Brand Simplicity Score:

586

Industry:

Automotive

32.
WhatsApp

Brand Simplicity Score:

582

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone


Also view in:

80.
U.S. Bank

Rank change from 2013:

-13

Brand Simplicity Score:

574

Industry:

Banks/Retail

81.
Nationwide

Rank change from 2013:

+30

Brand Simplicity Score:

572

Industry:

General insurance

83.
Alamo

Rank change from 2013:

+1

Brand Simplicity Score:

556

Industry:

Travel/Car rental

84.
Canon

Rank change from 2013:

-55

Brand Simplicity Score:

553

Industry:

Electronics

85.
Sears

Rank change from 2013:

-29

Brand Simplicity Score:

548

Industry:

Retail/General

86.
Priceline.com

Rank change from 2013:

-25

Brand Simplicity Score:

547

Industry:

Travel/Booking

87.
Skype

Rank change from 2013:

-4

Brand Simplicity Score:

544

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone

88.
Motorola

Rank change from 2013:

-9

Brand Simplicity Score:

543

Industry:

Electronics


Also view in:

89.
DHL

Rank change from 2013:

+4

Brand Simplicity Score:

541

Industry:

Shipping/Mail

90.
CNN

Rank change from 2013:

-4

Brand Simplicity Score:

539

Industry:

Media

91.
Avis

Rank change from 2013:

+13

Brand Simplicity Score:

534

Industry:

Travel/Car rental

92.
Microsoft

Rank change from 2013:

-5

Brand Simplicity Score:

526

Industry:

Electronics

93.
Chase

Rank change from 2013:

-4

Brand Simplicity Score:

525

Industry:

Banks/Retail

94.
Budget

Rank change from 2013:

+4

Brand Simplicity Score:

525

Industry:

Travel/Car rental


Also view in:

95.
Farmers

Rank change from 2013:

+18

Brand Simplicity Score:

520

Industry:

General insurance

96.
State Farm

Rank change from 2013:

+3

Brand Simplicity Score:

508

Industry:

General insurance

97.
MSNBC

Rank change from 2013:

-9

Brand Simplicity Score:

508

Industry:

Media

98.
Delta Air Lines

Rank change from 2013:

+18

Brand Simplicity Score:

507

Industry:

Travel/Air

99.
Fox News

Rank change from 2013:

-5

Brand Simplicity Score:

504

Industry:

Media

100.
Wells Fargo

Rank change from 2013:

-8

Brand Simplicity Score:

493

Industry:

Banks/Retail

101.
The Wall Street Journal

Rank change from 2013:

-11

Brand Simplicity Score:

491

Industry:

Media

102.
Bank of America

Rank change from 2013:

+16

Brand Simplicity Score:

491

Industry:

Banks/Retail

103.
AllState

Rank change from 2013:

-3

Brand Simplicity Score:

490

Industry:

General insurance

104.
Hertz

Rank change from 2013:

-7

Brand Simplicity Score:

489

Industry:

Travel/Car rental

105.
American Airlines

Rank change from 2013:

0

Brand Simplicity Score:

489

Industry:

Travel/Air

106.
Sprint

Rank change from 2013:

+1

Brand Simplicity Score:

463

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone

107.
United/Continental

Rank change from 2013:

+8

Brand Simplicity Score:

457

Industry:

Travel/Air

108.
The New York Times

Rank change from 2013:

-7

Brand Simplicity Score:

455

Industry:

Media

112.
Amtrak

Rank change from 2013:

-21

Brand Simplicity Score:

411

Industry:

Travel/Train

113.
US Airways

Rank change from 2013:

-10

Brand Simplicity Score:

404

Industry:

Travel/Air

114.
Citibank

Rank change from 2013:

-4

Brand Simplicity Score:

396

Industry:

Banks/Retail


Also view in:

115.
DIRECTV

Rank change from 2013:

-3

Brand Simplicity Score:

386

Industry:

Telecom/Cable

116.
MetLife

Rank change from Previous Year:

N/A

Brand Simplicity Score:

386

Industry:

General insurance


It’s not unusual for insurance companies to find themselves near the bottom of the US Simplicity Index. So MetLife, a newcomer to our survey, shouldn’t feel singled out. Nevertheless, the company loses points, say respondents, because it takes a long and winding road to make its point in communications. “Other insurance companies send short and to-the-point communications,” says one respondent. “Paperwork is often confusing [and filled with] ‘legalese,” adds another.

117.
AT&T

Rank change from 2013:

-3

Brand Simplicity Score:

380

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone


Respondents sent clear signals about their top issues with AT&T—confusing pricing, complex billing and dissatisfaction with customer service. “AT&T has so many plans, so many phones and too much drama you have to go through,” said one respondent, while another simply concluded that the company as a whole is “not user-friendly.”

118.
Verizon

Rank change from 2013:

-16

Brand Simplicity Score:

378

Industry:

Telecom/Cell phone


Complexity that brings confusion usually leads to suspicion and doubt. That’s certainly the case with Verizon. Survey respondents had a lot to say about an excess of fine print and complex communications from the telecommunications giant, leading them to believe their billing was “misleading” and customer experiences just “aren’t simple.”

119.
DISH Network

Rank change from 2013:

-11

Brand Simplicity Score:

374

Industry:

Telecom/Cable


Respondents say communications from DISH “have to be reread multiple times” and that “rates for this service change so quickly and erratically that subscribers are always paying more than they should.” When consumers do turn to this satellite TV provider for answers, their frustration is compounded by poor customer service.

120.
UnitedHealth Group

Rank change from 2013:

+1

Brand Simplicity Score:

339

Industry:

Health insurance


Insurance companies are perennial bottom-dwellers on the US Simplicity Index—along with cable and telecommunications companies. And UnitedHealth Group suffers from many of the same symptoms as its neighbors. Respondents say the company’s categories are organized in ways that are unclear, overly complex and poorly communicated.

121.
Aetna

Rank change from 2013:

-1

Brand Simplicity Score:

316

Industry:

Health insurance


Survey respondents didn’t see much of a difference between Aetna and other insurance companies when it came to simplicity, or rather, the absence of it. Respondents frequently noted Aetna’s terms were unclear, resulting in “lots and lots of hassles” regarding “rejected claims.”

122.
HUMANA

Rank change from 2013:

0

Brand Simplicity Score:

259

Industry:

Health insurance


Humana finds itself in exactly the same position this year as last year. And all indications are that consumers aren’t seeing much in the way of positive change. Respondents complain of difficulty making sense of the insurance provider’s numerous options. “Nothing is straightforward,” concludes one typical respondent.

123.
Comcast

Rank change from 2013:

0

Brand Simplicity Score:

251

Industry:

Telecom/Cable


Respondents report that it’s “hard to communicate directly with informed and helpful customer service representatives” at Comcast, which remains in the same spot as last year on the US Simplicity Index. Respondents also say Comcast’s contracts for cable, internet and phone service are “complex and deceiving.”

124.
Time Warner Cable

Rank change from 2013:

+1

Brand Simplicity Score:

232

Industry:

Telecom/Cable


Last year, Time Warner Cable ranked dead last on our US Simplicity Index. This year, they’re not. So much for the good news. Complaints about hidden fees, poor customer service and a generally user-unfriendly environment continue to stream in. “They don’t do what they promise,” says one respondent.

125.
CIGNA

Rank change from 2013:

-1

Brand Simplicity Score:

232

Industry:

Health insurance


Health insurer Cigna claims last place on this year’s US Simplicity Index. What makes dealing with Cigna so much more complicated than other companies on our list? In addition to what a respondent refers to as “extremely poor” explanations of coverage, it seems the company’s website, which another respondent calls “horrendous,” is a frequent pain point for consumers.

Industry Rankings

2.
Restaurants

Industry Simplicity Score:

929

Simplicity Premium:

4.1%

3.
Retail/Grocery

Industry Simplicity Score:

853

Simplicity Premium:

4.1%

4.
Internet retail

Industry Simplicity Score:

845

Simplicity Premium:

3.4%

5.
Electronics

Industry Simplicity Score:

817

Simplicity Premium:

4.1%

6.
Appliances

Industry Simplicity Score:

772

Simplicity Premium:

3.2%

7.
Shipping/Mail

Industry Simplicity Score:

755

Simplicity Premium:

2.8%

8.
Travel/Hotels

Industry Simplicity Score:

720

Simplicity Premium:

3.6%

9.
Retail/General

Industry Simplicity Score:

719

Simplicity Premium:

3.1%

10.
Retail/Fashion

Industry Simplicity Score:

708

Simplicity Premium:

4.4%

11.
Retail/Health and beauty

Industry Simplicity Score:

705

Simplicity Premium:

4.0%

12.
Banks/Retail

Industry Simplicity Score:

591

Simplicity Premium:

2.8%

13.
Utilities

Industry Simplicity Score:

590

Simplicity Premium:

3.1%

14.
Fitness

Industry Simplicity Score:

552

Simplicity Premium:

3.8%

15.
Automotive

Industry Simplicity Score:

546

Simplicity Premium:

3.5%

16.
Travel/Booking

Industry Simplicity Score:

544

Simplicity Premium:

3.2%

17.
Media

Industry Simplicity Score:

540

Simplicity Premium:

2.9%

18.
Telecom/Cell phone

Industry Simplicity Score:

505

Simplicity Premium:

3.5%

19.
Travel/Air

Industry Simplicity Score:

486

Simplicity Premium:

3.4%

20.
Travel/Car rental

Industry Simplicity Score:

473

Simplicity Premium:

3.2%

21.
Travel/Train

Industry Simplicity Score:

471

Simplicity Premium:

3.6%

23.
Telecom/Cable

Industry Simplicity Score:

355

Simplicity Premium:

3.6%

24.
General insurance

Industry Simplicity Score:

325

Simplicity Premium:

3.1%

25.
Health insurance

Industry Simplicity Score:

240

Simplicity Premium:

3.6%

The simplicity premium

Depending on the industry, up to 27% 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:


 

 

Money to be made

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