GERMANY

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These brands are disrupting the status quo by changing consumer expectations. Though they span different industries, they possess a common characteristic; simplicity is at the core of experiences they deliver. They are empowering people, reimagining experience, removing friction and saving time.

1

Google

1

Internet search

2

Google

Rank Change: +1
Score: 932
Industry: Internet search

Google takes the top spot in Germany’s Simplicity Index this year. “You can find anything on Google,” remarks a typical respondent, noting the search engine’s ability to organize the vast, complicated web into logical answers for an infinite range of questions. Respondents also cited the minimalist interface as a reason Google is simple.

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2

ALDI

2

Retail / Grocery

3

ALDI

Rank Change: -2
Score: 920
Industry: Retail / Grocery

Good quality, low prices, better value. These tenets are at the root of this discount grocery store’s high rating. Stores also tend to have the same layout from location to location, making it easy for shoppers to find the products they want. “Clear product range, alternative payment options, consistent quality,” summarizes one respondent.

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3

Tchibo

7

Internet retail

4

Tchibo

Rank Change: +7
Score: 909
Industry: Internet retail

This chain of coffee shops was founded ,more than 60 years ago, but clearly retains modern appeal, thanks in part to its simplicity. Tchibo gets high marks for “limited product range, good info about special offers and availability,” with other respondents commenting on the ubiquity of the company’s advertising and publicity.

4

IKEA

4

Retail / General

5

IKEA

Rank Change: +4
Score: 907
Industry: Retail / General

Respondents identify with IKEA’s simple and transparent way of doing business. The discount furniture retailer’s standardized layout—which guides the customer through the store—also received a few mentions from survey respondents. IKEA continues to release new product lines that are both easy to assemble and more customizable.

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5

 

Lidl

 

Retail / Grocery

6

Lidl

Rank Change: N/C
Score: 903
Industry: Retail / Grocery

The second discount supermarket on this year’s list, Lidl has been in Germany’s Top 10 for four years running. German respondents cited the chain’s pervasive presence—which translates to convenient access—as a reason it’s so simple. “Simple brochures, products are easy to find, offers are well described,” says one respondent.

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6

Edeka

5

Retail / Grocery

7

Edeka

Rank Change: +5
Score: 886
Industry: Retail / Grocery

For the first time since 2010, Edeka breaks into the Top 10 of German Simplicity Index. The supermarket commands Germany’s largest market share at 26%, and that’s reflected in the number of respondents who identify the brand as close and convenient. Consumers also appreciate the store’s frequent advertising.

7

Budnikowsky

19

Retail / Health and beauty

8

Budnikowsky

Rank Change: +19
Score: 880
Industry: Retail / Health and beauty

This chain of drugstores jumps 15 spots to #7 in the German Simplicity Index this year. “Budni” was founded more than 100 years ago as a specialty soap shop and began expanding in the 1930’s. Their slogan—“Every day do good”—resonates with customers, who feel comfortable in the store. Budni is also a smaller operation than its competitors, and prefers to build customer loyalty by emulating a cozy local drugstore feel than by ubiquity. All this seems to equate to simple experiences for consumers.

8

DM

11

Retail / Health and beauty

9

DM

Rank Change: +11
Score: 876
Industry: Retail / Health and beauty

The second drugstore in Germany’s Simplicity Index this year, consumers tout DM’s nice selection and wide range of products—which make it easy for shoppers to find what they need in one place. Consistency across the chain is also key: “I know exactly where my toothpaste or gel is, no matter where I go,” says one respondent. Considering that DM is Germany’s largest drugstore chain, consistency from location to location is an important part of building a simple customer experience.

9

Amazon

6

Internet retail

10

Amazon

Rank Change: -6
Score: 875
Industry: Internet retail

Global online retailer Amazon is a powerhouse of simplicity and efficiency. It’s constantly dreaming up ways to get products to consumers faster, and respondents in Germany have certainly noticed, saying that the online retailer “has a wide range of products, and a very simple ordering system.” Recent online rumors have circulated that Germany may soon be getting Amazon’s Prime Now—a same-day delivery service for a selection of its goods.

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10

Penny Markt

6

Retail / Grocery

11

Penny Markt

Rank Change: -6
Score: 874
Industry: Retail / Grocery

Smaller stores and discount prices are what make supermarket Penny Markt simple, according to consumers. The chain is also lauded for being friendly and having clear advertising, with weekly specials prominently displayed on their website.

11

Zalando

14

Internet retail

12

Zalando

Rank Change: +14
Score: 866
Industry: Internet retail

12

BILD

5

Media

13

BILD

Rank Change: -5
Score: 861
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.

13

Volkswagen

29

Automotive

14

Volkswagen

Rank Change: +29
Score: 849
Industry: Automotive

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14

BonPrix

20

Retail / Fashion

15

BonPrix

Rank Change: +20
Score: 846
Industry: Retail / Fashion

15

Rossmann

3

Retail / Health and beauty

16

Rossmann

Rank Change: +3
Score: 845
Industry: Retail / Health and beauty

16

H&M

20

Retail / Fashion

17

H&M

Rank Change: +20
Score: 842
Industry: Retail / Fashion

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17

eBay

18

Internet retail

18

eBay

Rank Change: +18
Score: 840
Industry: Internet retail

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18

McDonald’s

12

Restaurants

19

McDonald’s

Rank Change: -12
Score: 840
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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19

Real

7

Retail / Grocery

20

Real

Rank Change: -7
Score: 835
Industry: Retail / Grocery

20

OTTO

1

Internet retail

21

OTTO

Rank Change: +1
Score: 830
Industry: Internet retail

21

 

Douglas

 

Retail / Health and beauty

22

Douglas

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 830
Industry: Retail / Health and beauty

22

Miele

13

Appliances

23

Miele

Rank Change: -13
Score: 829
Industry: Appliances

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23

Audi

27

Automotive

24

Audi

Rank Change: +27
Score: 828
Industry: Automotive

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24

Media Markt

9

Retail / General

25

Media Markt

Rank Change: -9
Score: 824
Industry: Retail / General

25

REWE

11

Retail / Grocery

26

REWE

Rank Change: -11
Score: 824
Industry: Retail / Grocery

26

Ford

27

Automotive

27

Ford

Rank Change: +27
Score: 822
Industry: Automotive

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27

Samsung

10

Electronics

28

Samsung

Rank Change: -10
Score: 819
Industry: Electronics

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28

C&A

15

Retail / Fashion

29

C&A

Rank Change: -15
Score: 819
Industry: Retail / Fashion

29

Bosch

6

Appliances

30

Bosch

Rank Change: -6
Score: 806
Industry: Appliances

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30

Bing

16

Internet search

31

Bing

Rank Change: +16
Score: 806
Industry: Internet search

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31

KIK

15

Retail / Fashion

32

KIK

Rank Change: -15
Score: 804
Industry: Retail / Fashion

32

Saturn

4

Retail / General

33

Saturn

Rank Change: -4
Score: 801
Industry: Retail / General

33

Yahoo!

1

Internet search

34

Yahoo!

Rank Change: -1
Score: 797
Industry: Internet search

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34

Müller

14

Retail / Health and beauty

35

Müller

Rank Change: -14
Score: 794
Industry: Retail / Health and beauty

35

Siemens

4

Electronics

36

Siemens

Rank Change: +4
Score: 790
Industry: Electronics

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36

BMW

20

Automotive

37

BMW

Rank Change: +20
Score: 788
Industry: Automotive

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37

Nordsee

13

Restaurants

38

Nordsee

Rank Change: -13
Score: 787
Industry: Restaurants

38

ZARA

14

Retail / Fashion

39

ZARA

Rank Change: +14
Score: 784
Industry: Retail / Fashion

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39

Mercedes-Benz

22

Automotive

40

Mercedes-Benz

Rank Change: +22
Score: 782
Industry: Automotive

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40

Burger King

18

Restaurants

41

Burger King

Rank Change: -18
Score: 780
Industry: Restaurants

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41

AEG

12

Appliances

42

AEG

Rank Change: -12
Score: 775
Industry: Appliances

42

Sony

12

Electronics

43

Sony

Rank Change: -12
Score: 770
Industry: Electronics

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43

Apple

23

Electronics

44

Apple

Rank Change: +23
Score: 767
Industry: Electronics

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44

YouTube

24

Social media

45

YouTube

Rank Change: +24
Score: 766
Industry: Social media

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45

Opel

18

Automotive

46

Opel

Rank Change: +18
Score: 761
Industry: Automotive

46

EP/Elektronik Partner

13

Retail / General

47

EP/Elektronik Partner

Rank Change: +13
Score: 759
Industry: Retail / General

47

MEDIMAX

4

Retail / General

48

MEDIMAX

Rank Change: +4
Score: 758
Industry: Retail / General

48

Kaufhof

17

Retail / General

49

Kaufhof

Rank Change: -17
Score: 757
Industry: Retail / General

49

LG

8

Electronics

50

LG

Rank Change: -8
Score: 756
Industry: Electronics

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50

Nokia

23

Electronics

51

Nokia

Rank Change: -23
Score: 745
Industry: Electronics

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51

Holiday Inn

23

Travel / Hotels

52

Holiday Inn

Rank Change: +23
Score: 745
Industry: Travel / Hotels

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52

Philips

8

Electronics

53

Philips

Rank Change: -8
Score: 744
Industry: Electronics

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53

Canon

2

Electronics

54

Canon

Rank Change: +2
Score: 736
Industry: Electronics

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54

KFC

5

Restaurants

55

KFC

Rank Change: -5
Score: 731
Industry: Restaurants

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55

RTL

8

Media

56

RTL

Rank Change: -8
Score: 730
Industry: Media

56

Nike

13

Fitness

57

Nike

Rank Change: +13
Score: 729
Industry: Fitness

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57

Prosieben

12

Media

58

Prosieben

Rank Change: -12
Score: 727
Industry: Media

58

Hilton

20

Travel / Hotels

59

Hilton

Rank Change: -20
Score: 723
Industry: Travel / Hotels

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59

Vox

19

Media

60

Vox

Rank Change: -19
Score: 722
Industry: Media

60

Karstadt

6

Retail / General

61

Karstadt

Rank Change: -6
Score: 718
Industry: Retail / General

61

Best Western

4

Travel / Hotels

62

Best Western

Rank Change: -4
Score: 716
Industry: Travel / Hotels

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62

Panasonic

20

Electronics

63

Panasonic

Rank Change: -20
Score: 711
Industry: Electronics

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63

 

Vapiano

 

Restaurants

64

Vapiano

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 709
Industry: Restaurants

64

SAT 1

17

Media

65

SAT 1

Rank Change: -17
Score: 701
Industry: Media

65

Marriott

4

Travel / Hotels

66

Marriott

Rank Change: -4
Score: 701
Industry: Travel / Hotels

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66

ING-DiBa

12

Banks / Retail

67

ING-DiBa

Rank Change: +12
Score: 696
Industry: Banks / Retail

67

Dell

10

Electronics

68

Dell

Rank Change: -10
Score: 694
Industry: Electronics

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68

HP

1

Electronics

69

HP

Rank Change: +1
Score: 693
Industry: Electronics

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69

TUI

12

Travel / Booking

70

TUI

Rank Change: +12
Score: 690
Industry: Travel / Booking

70

Puma

6

Fitness

71

Puma

Rank Change: +6
Score: 686
Industry: Fitness

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71

iTunes

19

Internet retail

72

iTunes

Rank Change: +19
Score: 685
Industry: Internet retail

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72

Hermes

3

Shipping / Mail

73

Hermes

Rank Change: +3
Score: 684
Industry: Shipping / Mail

73

Adidas

10

Fitness

74

Adidas

Rank Change: -10
Score: 682
Industry: Fitness

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74

Spiegel

42

Media

75

Spiegel

Rank Change: -42
Score: 681
Industry: Media

75

Skype

1

Telecom / Cell phone

76

Skype

Rank Change: -1
Score: 670
Industry: Telecom / Cell phone

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76

Lufthansa

4

Travel / Air

77

Lufthansa

Rank Change: -4
Score: 669
Industry: Travel / Air

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77

Techniker Krankenkasse

5

Health insurance

78

Techniker Krankenkasse

Rank Change: +5
Score: 661
Industry: Health insurance

78

Microsoft

7

Electronics

79

Microsoft

Rank Change: -7
Score: 660
Industry: Electronics

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79

Sky

15

Media

80

Sky

Rank Change: -15
Score: 656
Industry: Media

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80

Sixt

1

Travel / Car rental

81

Sixt

Rank Change: -1
Score: 655
Industry: Travel / Car rental

81

airberlin

2

Travel / Air

82

airberlin

Rank Change: +2
Score: 653
Industry: Travel / Air

82

Reebok

12

Fitness

83

Reebok

Rank Change: -12
Score: 641
Industry: Fitness

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83

Deutsche Post/DHL

24

Shipping / Mail

84

Deutsche Post/DHL

Rank Change: -24
Score: 638
Industry: Shipping / Mail

84

Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken

8

Banks / Retail

85

Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken

Rank Change: +8
Score: 630
Industry: Banks / Retail

85

 

eplus

 

Telecom / Cell phone

86

eplus

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 623
Industry: Telecom / Cell phone

86

 

Bayer

 

Retail / Health and beauty

87

Bayer

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 614
Industry: Retail / Health and beauty

87

BARMER GEK

1

Health insurance

88

BARMER GEK

Rank Change: -1
Score: 606
Industry: Health insurance

88

AOK

4

Health insurance

89

AOK

Rank Change: -4
Score: 605
Industry: Health insurance

89

Sparkasse

5

Banks / Retail

90

Sparkasse

Rank Change: +5
Score: 599
Industry: Banks / Retail

90

Deutsche Postbank

6

Banks / Retail

91

Deutsche Postbank

Rank Change: +6
Score: 588
Industry: Banks / Retail

91

Thomas Cook

9

Travel / Booking

92

Thomas Cook

Rank Change: +9
Score: 587
Industry: Travel / Booking

92

 

Germanwings

 

Travel / Air

93

Germanwings

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 586
Industry: Travel / Air

93

 

easyJet

 

Travel / Air

94

easyJet

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 585
Industry: Travel / Air

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94

Avis

1

Travel / Car rental

95

Avis

Rank Change: -1
Score: 582
Industry: Travel / Car rental

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95

O2

7

Telecom / Cell phone

96

O2

Rank Change: -7
Score: 581
Industry: Telecom / Cell phone

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96

Vattenfall

6

Utilities

97

Vattenfall

Rank Change: +6
Score: 570
Industry: Utilities

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97

Vodafone

2

Telecom / Cell phone

98

Vodafone

Rank Change: -2
Score: 564
Industry: Telecom / Cell phone

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98

Europcar

18

Travel / Car rental

99

Europcar

Rank Change: -18
Score: 557
Industry: Travel / Car rental

99

Hertz

12

Travel / Car rental

100

Hertz

Rank Change: -12
Score: 541
Industry: Travel / Car rental

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100

RWE

3

Utilities

101

RWE

Rank Change: -3
Score: 540
Industry: Utilities

101

 

Commerzbank

 

Banks / Retail

102

Commerzbank

Rank Change: N/C
Score: 536
Industry: Banks / Retail

102

Twitter

13

Social media

103

Twitter

Rank Change: -13
Score: 522
Industry: Social media

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103

UPS

18

Shipping / Mail

104

UPS

Rank Change: -18
Score: 520
Industry: Shipping / Mail

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104

Google+

1

Social media

105

Google+

Rank Change: -1
Score: 509
Industry: Social media

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105

Facebook

6

Social media

106

Facebook

Rank Change: -6
Score: 501
Industry: Social media

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106

Xing

3

Social media

107

Xing

Rank Change: +3
Score: 493
Industry: Social media

107

TARGOBANK

1

Banks / Retail

108

TARGOBANK

Rank Change: -1
Score: 479
Industry: Banks / Retail

108

Deutsche Telekom

4

Telecom / Cell phone

109

Deutsche Telekom

Rank Change: -4
Score: 466
Industry: Telecom / Cell phone

109

Ryanair

1

Travel / Air

110

Ryanair

Rank Change: -1
Score: 446
Industry: Travel / Air

Despite a focus on its customer service practices over the past year, discount airline Ryanair can’t seem to ascend out on the bottom of our list. The flights are certainly priced to move, but consumers rail against the brand for nickel-and-diming every add-on and service. “Opaque booking conditions,” remarks one respondent.

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110

E.ON

3

Utilities

111

E.ON

Rank Change: -3
Score: 445
Industry: Utilities

Utilities providers tend to find themselves near the bottom of our lists, and E.ON has the dubious distinction of being in the most complex lists for both Germany and the U.K. “Holds no promise in reality,” says one respondent, while others complained about expensive prices and unclear billing. The company has recently invested in renewable solar energy in the U.S., so perhaps its sustainability efforts will increase its positive perception, but only time will tell if a clearer purpose will help it simplify.

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111

AXA

3

General insurance

112

AXA

Rank Change: +3
Score: 440
Industry: General insurance

Words like “bureaucracy,” “ambiguity” and even “chaos” peppered the answers for why respondents find this global insurance company complex. Hidden clauses and nonsensical fees also contribute to the perception, and in an industry that is often considered complex, a little bit of clarity would go a long way with consumers.

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112

R+V Versicherung

2

General insurance

113

R+V Versicherung

Rank Change: -2
Score: 428
Industry: General insurance

Reinsurance is insurance that’s purchased by insurance companies, and in the case of reinsurance company R+V Versicherung, that only serves to compound the sector’s usual issue of perceived complexity. Respondents cited the company’s unclear products and confusing website as main reasons for a low score this year.

113

Wüstenrot

2

General insurance

114

Wüstenrot

Rank Change: -2
Score: 428
Industry: General insurance

Wüstenrot is an Austrian financial services and real estate firm that offers a wide variety of services including online banking and insurance—none of which are traditionally perceived as simple. Like many of its peers, it’s viewed as complex for documents mired in fine print. They “Not transparent,” summarizes one respondent, with another lamenting that their communications are roundabout.

114

Deutsche Bank

9

Banks / Retail

115

Deutsche Bank

Rank Change: -9
Score: 410
Industry: Banks / Retail

Many respondents this year highlighted the same negative perception of one of the world’s largest financial services firms: arrogance. Hand in hand with this perception is a common theme that the bank seemed dishonest, corrupt and fraudulent, making them anything but the simple choice for consumers’ financial needs. This summer, both co-CEOs resigned at the same time, which almost certainly did nothing to shore up confidence in the brand.

115

 

Allianz

 

General insurance

116

Allianz

Rank Change: N/C
Score: 396
Industry: General insurance

This financial services company is headquartered in Munich, but its reach is worldwide. Consumers’ main complaint is information overload, with many citing that communications are wordy and confusing. One respondent even bemoaned being unable to distinguish between what is important and what is not. “Far too many incomprehensible clauses,” says another.

116

Deutsche Bahn

4

Travel / Train

117

Deutsche Bahn

Rank Change: -4
Score: 386
Industry: Travel / Train

One of the biggest pain points with this railway company are its defective and complicated ticketing machines, making it difficult to simply obtain passage on the company’s trains. Another common complaint is frequent train delays, establishing Deutsche Bahn as unreliable. “Last minute changes, no consideration for customers,” remarks one respondent.

117

Generali

1

General insurance

118

Generali

Rank Change: -1
Score: 383
Industry: General insurance

Another global player in financial services and insurance, Generali lacks in simplicity for its abundance of fine print and poor customer service. Respondents complain about receiving sluggish answers to urgent queries and cumbersome phone support. In a complicated industry, having stellar customer support is the first line of defense against succumbing to complexity.

118

ERGO

5

General insurance

119

ERGO

Rank Change: -5
Score: 329
Industry: General insurance

Not surprisingly, an insurance company sits at the very bottom of the German Simplicity Index. “The products are abstract and intangible,” notes one respondent, encapsulating some of the biggest issues with the entire sector. ERGO’s advertising also suffered scathing comments, with respondents calling them absurd.

INDUSTRY RANKINGS

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.