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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

 

ALDI

 

Retail / Grocery

2

ALDI

Rank Change: N/C
Score: 940
Industry: Retail / Grocery

Discount supermarket chain Aldi once again takes the top spot in the Global Brand Simplicity Index. Its formula for success? Uncomplicated offers, low prices, high quality products and great customer service. Consumers also appreciate the transparent price comparisons to competitors, which provide confidence that they’re getting the best deal.

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2

 

Google

 

Internet search

3

Google

Rank Change: N/C
Score: 911
Industry: Internet search

“Perfect functionality” summarizes the chorus of respondents’ praise for Google’s sleek interface and its ability to cut through nearly infinite amounts of information. It appears that the search engine’s quest for simplicity isn’t stopping at the product level: the creation of a new parent company Alphabet demonstrates the brand’s commitment to clarifying the role and relationship of each of its unique services. Simplicity can scale.

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3

 

Lidl

 

Retail / Grocery

4

Lidl

Rank Change: N/C
Score: 864
Industry: Retail / Grocery

Consumers find this discount supermarket simple because they can always find what they want and what’s on sale. The limited range of products, identical store layouts and clear and frequent communications about discounts make it simple for people to shop at Lidl. “Its brand ethos is simplicity in retailing… its methods of advertising and communicating with customers are generally quite direct and straightforward,” says one respondent.

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4

Netflix

1

Media

5

Netflix

Rank Change: +1
Score: 862
Industry: Media

Streaming video service Netflix makes it easy to find the entertainment consumers want, from practically anywhere with an internet connection. It has transformed the way movies and television shows are consumed, and is becoming an industry leader in original content. The brand garnered a record-breaking 34 Emmy nominations for more than 10 different original programs last year. It’s not only the content that earns praise—Netflix is lauded for its easy registration and simple monthly charge.

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5

McDonald’s

1

Restaurants

6

McDonald’s

Rank Change: -1
Score: 799
Industry: Restaurants

The world’s largest fast food chain’s convenience, reliability and simplicity is recognized by consumers the world over who continue to praise its straightforward menu. In May, McDonald’s simplified its drive-thru menu boards and added mid-priced items in key markets, including the U.S.—a change intended to streamline the ordering process and make service even more efficient. With this commitment to simplicity, it’s easy to see why customers keep “lovin’ it.”

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6

Burger King

8

Restaurants

7

Burger King

Rank Change: +8
Score: 794
Industry: Restaurants

Clear communications are at the heart of why consumers find Burger King simple. The quick service restaurant gets especially high marks for its easy-to-read menu and straightforward prices. Burger King’s smartphone app, which puts coupons at the customer’s fingertips, was also lauded for its convenience and simplicity.

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7

IKEA

1

Retail / General

8

IKEA

Rank Change: -1
Score: 791
Industry: Retail / General

Swedish furniture maker IKEA wins simplicity points not just for its designs, but also for its intuitive catalogues and in-store shopping experiences. “Large text, clear images and symbols,” says one survey respondent of the retailer’s signage, adding “it’s easier to shop at their stores because you can see the products in context”. IKEA continues to innovate to make their products simpler, introducing new product lines that offer higher levels of customization along with fast and intuitive assembly.

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8

YouTube

11

Social media

9

YouTube

Rank Change: +11
Score: 790
Industry: Social media

Consumers gave YouTube kudos for its ability to return desired search results quickly and its easy-to-navigate interface. The video streaming site will be launching a subscription service later this year, allowing subscribers to bypass advertisements and get straight to the content they’re seeking. The brand’s plans to fund original programming will soon pit them against other streaming services.

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9

eBay

12

Internet retail

10

eBay

Rank Change: +12
Score: 786
Industry: Internet retail

There’s a lot to love about e-commerce platform eBay, according to survey respondents. Categories are clear, it’s easy to sell items, and it’s easy to get in touch with company representatives or other sellers. The ability to locate obscure and one-of-a-kind items without hassle is also remains a draw for consumers.

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10

KFC

3

Restaurants

11

KFC

Rank Change: +3
Score: 755
Industry: Restaurants

The 3rd quick service restaurant in our Global Top 10 this year garners praise for its limited and consistent menu, and lightening fast order fulfillment. “They have sold the same items for a long time,” says one survey respondent. “[They] know what they are all about, and their ads are clear.” For KFC, familiarity appears to breed loyalty instead of contempt.

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11

 

Samsung

 

Electronics

12

Samsung

Rank Change: N/C
Score: 754
Industry: Electronics

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12

Yahoo!

3

Internet search

13

Yahoo!

Rank Change: +3
Score: 744
Industry: Internet search

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13

Walmart

28

Retail / General

14

Walmart

Rank Change: +28
Score: 743
Industry: Retail / General

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14

LG

4

Electronics

15

LG

Rank Change: +4
Score: 733
Industry: Electronics

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15

Amazon

5

Internet retail

16

Amazon

Rank Change: -5
Score: 727
Industry: Internet retail

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16

Sony

4

Electronics

17

Sony

Rank Change: +4
Score: 723
Industry: Electronics

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17

Ford

23

Automotive

18

Ford

Rank Change: +23
Score: 719
Industry: Automotive

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18

 

Levi’s

 

Retail / Fashion

19

Levi’s

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 712
Industry: Retail / Fashion

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19

Groupon

26

Internet retail

20

Groupon

Rank Change: +26
Score: 711
Industry: Internet retail

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20

Philips

6

Electronics

21

Philips

Rank Change: +6
Score: 707
Industry: Electronics

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21

Carrefour

5

Retail / Grocery

22

Carrefour

Rank Change: -5
Score: 699
Industry: Retail / Grocery

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22

Nokia

10

Electronics

23

Nokia

Rank Change: -10
Score: 695
Industry: Electronics

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23

Canon

9

Electronics

24

Canon

Rank Change: +9
Score: 694
Industry: Electronics

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24

Pizza Hut

7

Restaurants

25

Pizza Hut

Rank Change: -7
Score: 691
Industry: Restaurants

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25

 

HP

 

Electronics

26

HP

Rank Change: N/C
Score: 682
Industry: Electronics

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26

Dell

3

Electronics

27

Dell

Rank Change: -3
Score: 676
Industry: Electronics

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27

Panasonic

6

Electronics

28

Panasonic

Rank Change: +6
Score: 676
Industry: Electronics

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28

Miele

19

Appliances

29

Miele

Rank Change: -19
Score: 674
Industry: Appliances

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29

H&M

1

Retail / Fashion

30

H&M

Rank Change: -1
Score: 669
Industry: Retail / Fashion

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30

Expedia

20

Travel / Booking

31

Expedia

Rank Change: +20
Score: 668
Industry: Travel / Booking

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31

Apple

9

Electronics

32

Apple

Rank Change: -9
Score: 667
Industry: Electronics

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32

ZARA

4

Retail / Fashion

33

ZARA

Rank Change: +4
Score: 657
Industry: Retail / Fashion

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33

Lenovo

11

Electronics

34

Lenovo

Rank Change: +11
Score: 652
Industry: Electronics

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34

Bing

4

Internet search

35

Bing

Rank Change: -4
Score: 650
Industry: Internet search

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35

Microsoft

3

Electronics

36

Microsoft

Rank Change: +3
Score: 643
Industry: Electronics

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36

Adidas

1

Fitness

37

Adidas

Rank Change: -1
Score: 642
Industry: Fitness

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37

Nike

3

Fitness

38

Nike

Rank Change: -3
Score: 640
Industry: Fitness

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38

Holiday Inn

25

Travel / Hotels

39

Holiday Inn

Rank Change: +25
Score: 634
Industry: Travel / Hotels

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39

Marks & Spencer

27

Retail / General

40

Marks & Spencer

Rank Change: +27
Score: 634
Industry: Retail / General

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40

Starbucks

3

Restaurants

41

Starbucks

Rank Change: +3
Score: 630
Industry: Restaurants

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41

Bosch

17

Appliances

42

Bosch

Rank Change: -17
Score: 628
Industry: Appliances

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42

Volkswagen

12

Automotive

43

Volkswagen

Rank Change: +12
Score: 613
Industry: Automotive

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43

Best Western

16

Travel / Hotels

44

Best Western

Rank Change: -16
Score: 609
Industry: Travel / Hotels

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44

Mercedes-Benz

3

Automotive

45

Mercedes-Benz

Rank Change: +3
Score: 605
Industry: Automotive

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45

Marriott

19

Travel / Hotels

46

Marriott

Rank Change: +19
Score: 605
Industry: Travel / Hotels

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46

British Airways

22

Travel / Air

47

British Airways

Rank Change: +22
Score: 604
Industry: Travel / Air

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47

 

Comfort Hotels

 

Travel / Hotels

48

Comfort Hotels

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 604
Industry: Travel / Hotels

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48

Skype

9

Telecom / Cell phone

49

Skype

Rank Change: -9
Score: 599
Industry: Telecom / Cell phone

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49

Toyota

3

Automotive

50

Toyota

Rank Change: +3
Score: 597
Industry: Automotive

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50

Reebok

9

Fitness

51

Reebok

Rank Change: +9
Score: 592
Industry: Fitness

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51

Virgin Mobile

26

Telecom / Cell phone

52

Virgin Mobile

Rank Change: +26
Score: 591
Industry: Telecom / Cell phone

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52

Gap

11

Retail / Fashion

53

Gap

Rank Change: -11
Score: 591
Industry: Retail / Fashion

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53

 

easyJet

 

Travel / Air

54

easyJet

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 588
Industry: Travel / Air

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54

Instagram

1

Social media

55

Instagram

Rank Change: -1
Score: 588
Industry: Social media

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55

Sky

9

Telecom / Cable

56

Sky

Rank Change: -9
Score: 584
Industry: Telecom / Cable

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56

HTC

19

Electronics

57

HTC

Rank Change: -19
Score: 580
Industry: Electronics

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57

Boots

5

Retail / Health and beauty

58

Boots

Rank Change: +5
Score: 579
Industry: Retail / Health and beauty

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58

Haier

29

Appliances

59

Haier

Rank Change: -29
Score: 576
Industry: Appliances

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59

Lufthansa

11

Travel / Air

60

Lufthansa

Rank Change: -11
Score: 575
Industry: Travel / Air

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60

Sephora

29

Retail / Health and beauty

61

Sephora

Rank Change: -29
Score: 571
Industry: Retail / Health and beauty

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61

FedEx

5

Shipping / Mail

62

FedEx

Rank Change: -5
Score: 571
Industry: Shipping / Mail

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62

Hilton

11

Travel / Hotels

63

Hilton

Rank Change: -11
Score: 570
Industry: Travel / Hotels

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63

Facebook

6

Social media

64

Facebook

Rank Change: -6
Score: 570
Industry: Social media

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64

Debenhams

9

Retail / General

65

Debenhams

Rank Change: +9
Score: 562
Industry: Retail / General

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65

BMW

6

Automotive

66

BMW

Rank Change: +6
Score: 561
Industry: Automotive

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66

Audi

12

Automotive

67

Audi

Rank Change: +12
Score: 559
Industry: Automotive

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67

iTunes

2

Internet retail

68

iTunes

Rank Change: -2
Score: 557
Industry: Internet retail

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68

O2

1

Telecom / Cell phone

69

O2

Rank Change: +1
Score: 551
Industry: Telecom / Cell phone

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69

Siemens

20

Electronics

70

Siemens

Rank Change: -20
Score: 543
Industry: Electronics

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70

DHL

2

Shipping / Mail

71

DHL

Rank Change: +2
Score: 526
Industry: Shipping / Mail

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71

Puma

10

Fitness

72

Puma

Rank Change: -10
Score: 515
Industry: Fitness

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72

Pinterest

5

Social media

73

Pinterest

Rank Change: -5
Score: 514
Industry: Social media

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73

Vodafone

13

Telecom / Cell phone

74

Vodafone

Rank Change: -13
Score: 506
Industry: Telecom / Cell phone

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74

 

UPS

 

Shipping / Mail

75

UPS

Rank Change: N/C
Score: 491
Industry: Shipping / Mail

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75

Google+

5

Social media

76

Google+

Rank Change: +5
Score: 476
Industry: Social media

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76

Twitter

6

Social media

77

Twitter

Rank Change: -6
Score: 465
Industry: Social media

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77

Budget

5

Travel / Car rental

78

Budget

Rank Change: +5
Score: 464
Industry: Travel / Car rental

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78

LinkedIn

6

Social media

79

LinkedIn

Rank Change: +6
Score: 429
Industry: Social media

For social network LinkedIn, the confusion begins with articulating its purpose. “No one really understands how to use LinkedIn,” says one dismissive respondent, echoing the sentiment of many others. In addition, LinkedIn has faced several lawsuits in the past few years due to data breaches and privacy concerns, including hefty payouts due to providing potentially inaccurate user data to employers. Sometimes, social just isn’t simple.

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79

Topshop

24

Retail / Fashion

80

Topshop

Rank Change: -24
Score: 423
Industry: Retail / Fashion

Though the name itself suggests a premium experience, this clothing retailer finds itself in our Global Bottom 10 this year, due to its overwhelming selection of in-store items. Respondents also indicate that the brand’s online experience isn’t much simpler. “I've never used the website without it crashing or the layout being confusing,” says one respondent.

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80

HSBC

1

Banks / Retail

81

HSBC

Rank Change: +1
Score: 417
Industry: Banks / Retail

The global bank and its peers receive similar complaints: confusing products , policies and security measures some people find confusing. “Security is important,” explains a respondent, “but their secure key I find difficult to use.” Customers also report trouble getting in contact with service representatives, and a relatively light marketing presence in some regions. “Out of sight, out of mind!” quips one respondent.

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81

Hertz

2

Travel / Car rental

82

Hertz

Rank Change: +2
Score: 400
Industry: Travel / Car rental

Car rental company Hertz lands in the Bottom 10 this year due to what respondents perceive as confusing terms and conditions and unclear costs. Other respondents complained of difficulty getting clear quotes on the company’s website and a lengthy registration process.

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82

Citibank

5

Banks / Retail

83

Citibank

Rank Change: +5
Score: 393
Industry: Banks / Retail

Survey respondents indicated that they found this retail bank’s commercials and statements confusing. In addition, lengthy disclaimers, legalese and wordy emails appear to be barriers to simple experience for respondents this year.

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83

Avis

3

Travel / Car rental

84

Avis

Rank Change: +3
Score: 384
Industry: Travel / Car rental

“Hidden extras” might sound like a good thing, except when it comes to fees. Sneaky extra charges plague this car rental company’s customers, who also seem baffled by the difficulty comparing offers and getting a quote online. Non-native English speakers also complain that the website doesn’t offer other language choices.

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84

Peugeot

9

Automotive

85

Peugeot

Rank Change: -9
Score: 338
Industry: Automotive

Cars that break down easily are a pain, but cars that require consumers to jump through hoops to repair them become a tax on time, energy, and money. According to survey respondents, Peugeot sits at the nexus of these issues, with many people bemoaning shoddy workmanship and inaccessible service and customer care.

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85

Ryanair

4

Travel / Air

86

Ryanair

Rank Change: +4
Score: 320
Industry: Travel / Air

Budget airline Ryanair has a reputation for dirt-cheap air travel in Europe, but survey respondents would warn you not to get taken in by the attractive price tag. Hidden charges include everything from baggage to booking fees to credit cards. Recently, the airline has made a concerted effort to step up their customer service—resulting in an uptick of bookings. We’ll see if simplifying the experience allows this brand to climb next year.

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86

Bupa

2

Health insurance

87

Bupa

Rank Change: +2
Score: 308
Industry: Health insurance

When it comes to personal health, transparency and honesty are key to building trust. And this is where Bupa fails to deliver, according to survey respondents. “They do not give clear pricing structure or services offered in their communications,” a respondent writes. With hidden charges and hidden restrictions, simplicity appears hard to come by.

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87

AXA

3

General insurance

88

AXA

Rank Change: +3
Score: 267
Industry: General insurance

This global insurance group lands in the bottom spot again this year. Survey respondents are frustrated by the brand’s lack of clarity in everything from pricing to communications and digital experiences. “Explanations from the company are garbled and hard to understand,” writes one respondent, adding for good measure, “Their website isn't user-friendly.”

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INDUSTRY RANKINGS

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.