Research methodology

To determine the global state of simplicity, Siegel+Gale fielded an online survey with over 10,000 respondents in 7 countries to gather perspectives on simplicity and how industries and brands make people’s lives simpler or more complex.

During the study, respondents rated 525 brands. The brands were selected as a representative set that respondents would be most likely to know and/or use in each country.

Sample set

Between May 3rd and July 2nd, 2013, Siegel+Gale used an online survey to poll:


United States: 2,061
United Kingdom: 1,803
Germany: 1,756
Mainland China: 1,782
India: 1,750
UAE and Saudi Arabia: 1,764

The sample is representative of national demographic distributions in each country.

Survey topics

This year’s respondents answered questions about brand touchpoints within specific industries, the workplace and the relationship between simplicity and innovation, among other topics.

Respondents answered questions around:

  • How simple or complex they perceive their life to be
  • How familiar they are with certain brands
  • If they recently used these brands
  • The simplicity/complexity of a brand’s communications and interactions in relation to their industry peers

Brand Simplicity Score

Each country rated more than 100 brands. Siegel+Gale researchers used input from in-country offices and existing third-party research to select a representative set of brands that in-country respondents would be most likely to use or experience. We are unable to report on smaller, lesser-known brands for which we could not collect sufficient responses.

The Brand Simplicity Score was calculated with the following inputs:

  • How each brand was rated on the simplicity/complexity of its products, services, interactions and communications in relation to its industry peers. User/Non-user ratings were weighted to give more importance to the user experience and remove any possible bias for higher proportions of users for some of the brands
  • How consistently the brand experience and communications were rated across respondents (the standard deviation of the ratings)
  • How aligned non-user and user perceptions were, privileging aligned perceptions (the difference between user and non-user ratings)
  • The Simplicity Score for the brand’s industry or category(ies)

Industry Simplicity Score

Each country rated the following industries: Appliances, Automotive, Banks/Retail, Electronics, Fitness, General insurance, Health insurance, Internet/Search, Internet/Retail, Media, Restaurants, Retail/Fashion, Retail/General, Retail/Grocery, Retail/Health and beauty, Shipping/Mail, Social media, Telecom/Cable, Telecom/Cell phone, Travel/Air, Travel/Booking, Travel/Car rental, Travel/Hotels, Travel/Train and Utilities.

The Industry Simplicity Score was calculated with the following inputs:

  • The industry’s contribution to making life simpler/more complex
  • The pain of typical interactions with companies/organizations within the industry
  • How the industry’s typical communications rank in terms of:
    • Ease of understanding
    • Transparency/Honesty
    • Communicating that customer needs are being cared for/Making the customer feel valued and appreciated
    • Innovation/Freshness
    • Usefulness