Why it pays for businesses to keep branding simple

Annual survey ranks Amazon, Google and Lidl top for simplicity, while social media sites Facebook and LinkedIn found to be "too complex"

A new global survey has highlighted the importance of simplicity for brands of all sizes, with 61% of consumers more likely to recommend a brand because it’s simple, according to Siegel+Gale’s seventh annual Global Brand Simplicity Index.

Based on a survey of 14,000 consumers across nine countries, the index shows the “impact of simplicity on the world’s leading brands”, including how simple a brand is to understand and the simplicity of the experiences it offers its customers.

Amazon topped the UK ranking for simplicity, with Google, Lidl, First Direct and John Lewis making up the remainder of the top five. Surprisingly, some of the world’s most recognisable social media sites including Facebook and LinkedIn appeared much lower down in the UK rankings at 117 and 118 respectively.

By industry, internet search was ranked highest for simplicity in the UK, followed by internet retail, retail and grocery, appliances and electronics. Social media, travel and car rental, general insurance and health insurance made up the bottom four.

45% of UK consumers said they would be willing to pay more for simpler experiences, with this most important in the travel and air sector (20-22%).

The index highlighted Amazon’s “intuitive user interface”, “speedy and reliable delivery system” and ‘Dash Buttons’ as examples of its first place-worthy simplicity, while Lidl was praised for the “simplicity of its food without sacrificing quality or taste”.

Meanwhile, respondents criticised LinkedIn’s cumbersome interface, complicated navigation and excessive suite of features.

Liana Dinghile, group strategy director of Siegel+Gale, commented: “Complexity is fast becoming the silent killer of profitable business growth. Brands that don’t simplify are leaving almost £70 billion on the table hence the increasing premium placed on simplicity today.

“Customers are avidly seeking experiences that make their lives simpler and the brands winning are the ones that focus their efforts on making this happen. Simplicity is definitely not easy but it does pay.”

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