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SiegelGale-Simplicity-Premium-by-Industry-Oct2013Three-quarters of consumers from 7 key markets around the world report being more likely to recommend a brand because it provides simpler experiences and communications, per results from Siegel+Gale’s 4th annual Global Brand Simplicity Index [pdf]. The potential benefits of a simpler experience extend beyond recommendations: depending on the industry, up to 29% of American consumers would be willing to pay a premium for simpler brand experiences and interactions. Simplicity is defined as the ease of interactions and communications with a brand (e.g., researching, purchasing, interacting with customer service, etc.).

US respondents will pay the highest premiums (4.1% or more) to retail/fashion, electronics, appliances, restaurants, and fitness brands. That list has grown from last year, when Americans would only pay that premium to 2 industries (restaurants and grocery).

Americans also claim that they will pay 3.6-4% more for simplified experiences and interactions with brands across a range of industries, including automotive, travel/air, health insurance, travel/booking, retail/grocery, internet retail and general retail, according to the latest survey.

US respondents ranked Amazon first for brand simplicity among 125 brands (Amazon also happens to be tops for word-of-mouth among US brands), with Netflix close behind. Google dropped 5 spots in the rankings, down to #8, though still well ahead of Bing, which closed the gap by virtue of a 12-spot jump to #17. While Google may be in the top 10 brands among US respondents, Google+ continues to suffer in this measure. Although it gained a few positions in this year’s US rankings, it was ranked only 95th among the 125 brands tracked. (Time Warner Cable drew the dubious distinction of being the worst brand – with a simplicity score of just 211 on a 1000-point scale, 34 points worse than the next-lowest brand, CIGNA.)

Overall, internet search engines were the top-ranked industry for US respondents, with an average score of 950, outranking restaurants (844) and internet retail (804). On a global scale, search also dominated (again with a score of 950), this time followed by electronics (736) and then restaurants (734). ALDI ranked as the top brand by simplicity across the 7 markets (883), just ahead of Amazon (874) and Google (868).

Other Findings:

  • The researchers estimated how much industries stand to gain from US consumers by simplifying their customer experience. US health insurance providers stand to gain the most ($4.7 billion), followed by grocery chains ($3.6 billion) and restaurants ($3 billion).
  • Americans are slightly less willing to pay a premium for simplicity than the average global customer: up to 41% on average were willing to pay more simpler experiences.

About the Data: The Siegel+Gale data is based on an online survey of 10.916 consumers in 7 countries: US (2,061); UK (1,803); Germany (1,756); Mainland China (1,782); India (1,750); and UAE and Saudi Arabia (1,764).

More details regarding methodology can be found in the report.

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