Global

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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

ALDI

Rank Change: N/C
Industry: Retail / Grocery

Also view in:

Germany United Kingdom

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.

2

Lidl

1

Retail / Grocery

Lidl

Rank Change: +1
Industry: Retail / Grocery

Also view in:

Germany Sweden United Kingdom

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.

3

Google

1

Internet search

Google

Rank Change: -1
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.

4

 

Netflix

 

Media

Netflix

Rank Change: N/C
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.

5

IKEA

2

Retail / General

IKEA

Rank Change: +2
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.

6

Amazon

9

Internet retail

Amazon

Rank Change: +9
Industry: Internet retail

7

KFC

3

Restaurants

KFC

Rank Change: +3
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.

8

 

YouTube

 

Social media

YouTube

Rank Change: N/C
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.

9

McDonald’s

4

Restaurants

McDonald’s

Rank Change: -4
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.”

10

 

SUBWAY

 

Restaurants

SUBWAY

Rank Change: N/A
Industry: Restaurants

Also view in:

Germany Sweden United States

“Simple menus,” “pricing that’s easy to remember” and a product that “caters to individual customer needs”—that’s how respondents describe SUBWAY. With more than 42,000 restaurants in 108 countries, SUBWAY has built its reputation on an uncomplicated, made-to-order product. Up from #15 last year, SUBWAY is working on building its base with health- conscious Millennials. Avocados, anyone?

11

Burger King

5

Restaurants

Burger King

Rank Change: -5
Industry: Restaurants

12

Hilton

50

Travel / Hotels

Hilton

Rank Change: +50
Industry: Travel / Hotels

13

Pizza Hut

11

Restaurants

Pizza Hut

Rank Change: +11
Industry: Restaurants

14

Carrefour

7

Retail / Grocery

Carrefour

Rank Change: +7
Industry: Retail / Grocery

Also view in:

China Middle East

15

 

Hyundai

 

Automotive

Hyundai

Rank Change: N/A
Industry: Automotive

Also view in:

China United States

16

Sephora

44

Retail / Health and beauty

Sephora

Rank Change: +44
Industry: Retail / Health and beauty

17

Miele

11

Appliances

Miele

Rank Change: +11
Industry: Appliances

Also view in:

Germany Sweden

18

H&M

11

Retail / Fashion

H&M

Rank Change: +11
Industry: Retail / Fashion

19

Lenovo

14

Electronics

Lenovo

Rank Change: +14
Industry: Electronics

Also view in:

China Middle East

20

Samsung

9

Electronics

Samsung

Rank Change: -9
Industry: Electronics

21

 

UNIQLO

 

Retail / Fashion

UNIQLO

Rank Change: N/A
Industry: Retail / Fashion

Also view in:

China United Kingdom

22

Expedia

8

Travel / Booking

Expedia

Rank Change: +8
Industry: Travel / Booking

23

Sony

7

Electronics

Sony

Rank Change: -7
Industry: Electronics

24

Ford

7

Automotive

Ford

Rank Change: -7
Industry: Automotive

25

LG

11

Electronics

LG

Rank Change: -11
Industry: Electronics

26

 

Honda

 

Automotive

Honda

Rank Change: N/A
Industry: Automotive

Also view in:

Japan United States

27

Philips

7

Electronics

Philips

Rank Change: -7
Industry: Electronics

28

eBay

19

Internet retail

eBay

Rank Change: -19
Industry: Internet retail

29

Toyota

20

Automotive

Toyota

Rank Change: +20
Industry: Automotive

30

Bosch

11

Appliances

Bosch

Rank Change: +11
Industry: Appliances

Also view in:

Germany Sweden

31

ZARA

1

Retail / Fashion

ZARA

Rank Change: +1
Industry: Retail / Fashion

32

HP

7

Electronics

HP

Rank Change: -7
Industry: Electronics

33

Bing

1

Internet search

Bing

Rank Change: +1
Industry: Internet search

Also view in:

Germany Japan United States

34

Nike

3

Fitness

Nike

Rank Change: +3
Industry: Fitness

35

Adidas

1

Fitness

Adidas

Rank Change: +1
Industry: Fitness

36

 

Enterprise

 

Travel / Car rental

Enterprise

Rank Change: N/A
Industry: Travel / Car rental

37

easyJet

16

Travel / Air

easyJet

Rank Change: +16
Industry: Travel / Air

Also view in:

Germany United Kingdom

38

Panasonic

11

Electronics

Panasonic

Rank Change: -11
Industry: Electronics

39

Gap

13

Retail / Fashion

Gap

Rank Change: +13
Industry: Retail / Fashion

40

Boots

17

Retail / Health and beauty

Boots

Rank Change: +17
Industry: Retail / Health and beauty

Also view in:

Middle East United Kingdom

41

Nokia

19

Electronics

Nokia

Rank Change: -19
Industry: Electronics

42

Starbucks

2

Restaurants

Starbucks

Rank Change: -2
Industry: Restaurants

43

 

Best Western

 

Travel / Hotels

Best Western

Rank Change: N/C
Industry: Travel / Hotels

Also view in:

Germany Sweden United States

44

Apple

13

Electronics

Apple

Rank Change: -13
Industry: Electronics

45

HTC

11

Electronics

HTC

Rank Change: +11
Industry: Electronics

Also view in:

China Middle East

46

Volkswagen

4

Automotive

Volkswagen

Rank Change: -4
Industry: Automotive

47

Walmart

34

Retail / General

Walmart

Rank Change: -34
Industry: Retail / General

Also view in:

China United States

48

 

Nationwide

 

General insurance

Nationwide

Rank Change: N/A
Industry: General insurance

49

Yahoo!

37

Internet search

Yahoo!

Rank Change: -37
Industry: Internet search

50

 

Ramada

 

Travel / Hotels

Ramada

Rank Change: N/A
Industry: Travel / Hotels

Also view in:

Germany United States

51

Groupon

32

Internet retail

Groupon

Rank Change: -32
Industry: Internet retail

Also view in:

India United States

52

Canon

29

Electronics

Canon

Rank Change: -29
Industry: Electronics

Also view in:

Germany India United States

53

O2

15

Telecom / Cell phone

O2

Rank Change: +15
Industry: Telecom / Cell phone

Also view in:

Germany United Kingdom

54

Dell

28

Electronics

Dell

Rank Change: -28
Industry: Electronics

55

Instagram

1

Social media

Instagram

Rank Change: -1
Industry: Social media

56

Holiday Inn

18

Travel / Hotels

Holiday Inn

Rank Change: -18
Industry: Travel / Hotels

57

Marriott

12

Travel / Hotels

Marriott

Rank Change: -12
Industry: Travel / Hotels

58

Marks & Spencer

19

Retail / General

Marks & Spencer

Rank Change: -19
Industry: Retail / General

Also view in:

Middle East United Kingdom

59

Mercedes-Benz

15

Automotive

Mercedes-Benz

Rank Change: -15
Industry: Automotive

60

Audi

6

Automotive

Audi

Rank Change: +6
Industry: Automotive

61

Puma

10

Fitness

Puma

Rank Change: +10
Industry: Fitness

62

Skype

14

Telecom / Cell phone

Skype

Rank Change: -14
Industry: Telecom / Cell phone

63

Microsoft

28

Electronics

Microsoft

Rank Change: -28
Industry: Electronics

64

Lufthansa

5

Travel / Air

Lufthansa

Rank Change: -5
Industry: Travel / Air

Also view in:

Germany Sweden United Kingdom

65

 

Norwegian Air

 

Travel / Air

Norwegian Air

Rank Change: N/A
Industry: Travel / Air

Also view in:

Sweden United Kingdom

66

iTunes

1

Internet retail

iTunes

Rank Change: +1
Industry: Internet retail

67

Twitter

9

Social media

Twitter

Rank Change: +9
Industry: Social media

68

FedEx

7

Shipping / Mail

FedEx

Rank Change: -7
Industry: Shipping / Mail

69

 

Toshiba

 

Electronics

Toshiba

Rank Change: N/A
Industry: Electronics

Also view in:

Japan Middle East

70

Reebok

20

Fitness

Reebok

Rank Change: -20
Industry: Fitness

71

Haier

13

Appliances

Haier

Rank Change: -13
Industry: Appliances

Also view in:

China India

72

Sky

17

Telecom / Cable

Sky

Rank Change: -17
Industry: Telecom / Cable

Also view in:

Germany United Kingdom

73

 

Uber

 

Travel / Car rental

Uber

Rank Change: N/A
Industry: Travel / Car rental

74

Topshop

5

Retail / Fashion

Topshop

Rank Change: +5
Industry: Retail / Fashion

Also view in:

Middle East United Kingdom

75

 

Nissan

 

Automotive

Nissan

Rank Change: N/A
Industry: Automotive

Also view in:

Japan Middle East

76

Siemens

7

Appliances

Siemens

Rank Change: -7
Industry: Appliances

Also view in:

Germany Middle East Sweden

77

Vodafone

4

Telecom / Cell phone

Vodafone

Rank Change: -4
Industry: Telecom / Cell phone

Also view in:

Germany India United Kingdom

78

UPS

4

Shipping / Mail

UPS

Rank Change: -4
Industry: Shipping / Mail

79

BMW

14

Automotive

BMW

Rank Change: -14
Industry: Automotive

80

 

Under Armour

 

Fitness

Under Armour

Rank Change: N/A
Industry: Fitness

Also view in:

Middle East United States

81

British Airways

35

Travel / Air

British Airways

Rank Change: -35
Industry: Travel / Air

Also view in:

Sweden United Kingdom

82

Facebook

19

Social media

Facebook

Rank Change: -19
Industry: Social media

83

Citibank

1

Banks / Retail

Citibank

Rank Change: -1
Industry: Banks / Retail

Also view in:

Middle East United States

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.

84

DHL

14

Shipping / Mail

DHL

Rank Change: -14
Industry: Shipping / Mail

85

 

Vattenfall

 

Utilities

Vattenfall

Rank Change: N/A
Industry: Utilities

Also view in:

Germany Sweden

86

Budget

9

Travel / Car rental

Budget

Rank Change: -9
Industry: Travel / Car rental

87

Ryanair

2

Travel / Air

Ryanair

Rank Change: -2
Industry: Travel / Air

Also view in:

Germany Sweden United Kingdom

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.

88

HSBC

8

Banks / Retail

HSBC

Rank Change: -8
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.

89

Hertz

8

Travel / Car rental

Hertz

Rank Change: -8
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.

90

 

MetLife

 

General insurance

MetLife

Rank Change: N/A
Industry: General insurance

Also view in:

Japan United States

91

Avis

8

Travel / Car rental

Avis

Rank Change: -8
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.

92

LinkedIn

14

Social media

LinkedIn

Rank Change: -14
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.

93

Bupa

7

Health insurance

Bupa

Rank Change: -7
Industry: Health insurance

Also view in:

Middle East United Kingdom

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.

94

 

Aviva

 

General insurance

Aviva

Rank Change: N/A
Industry: General insurance

Also view in:

India United Kingdom

95

AXA

8

General insurance

AXA

Rank Change: -8
Industry: General insurance

Also view in:

Germany Japan Middle East

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.”

Industry Rankings

Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
950 18%
Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
780 21%
Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
773 20%
Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
740 31%
Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
733 24%
Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
719 22%
Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
698 17%
Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
640 20%
Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
619 13%

10

Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
615 16%
Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
605 24%
Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
605 17%
Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
597 24%
Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
567 25%
Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
560 25%
Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
546 20%
Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
534 20%
Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
527 12%
Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
510 20%
Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
506 17%

21

Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
487 18%
Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
486 20%
Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
429 14%
Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
336 23%
Industry Simplicity Score Simplicity Premium
269 17%

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.