Which Industries Are Offering Consumers the Simplest Experiences?

February 14, 2017

Almost two-thirds (64%) of consumers around the world are willing to pay more for simpler experiences, a figure which has remained quite steady over the past few years, according to Siegel+Gale’s latest annual “Global Brand Simplicity Index” report [pdf]. The simplicity premium is greatest in India (92%) and China (85%), while being lower in the US (46%).

The report ranks the top industries by simplicity index, based on:

  • The industry’s contribution to making life simpler or more complex;
  • The pain of typical interactions with companies/organizations within the industry; and
  • How the industry’s typical communications rank across various factors.

Based on the responses of more than 14,000 consumers in 9 countries, the study determined that Internet Search is easily the leader in industry simplicity. In fact, it was the top industry in each of the markets surveyed save for China, where it was second to Electronics. Separately, the report indicates that the Electronics industry stands to benefit most from simpler experiences.

Beyond Internet Search’s industry-leading Simplicity Index score of 950 come Internet Retail (780) and Retail/Grocery (773) in quick succession. Brands from these industries dotted the list of those offering the simplest experiences worldwide, with Aldi #1, Lidl the #2, IKEA in 5th and Amazon in 6th.

Sandwiched in between those was Google (#4) and Netflix (#5), the latter of which was the only Media brand to figure among the top 95 identified.

Rounding out the top 5 industries in Simplicity Index score were Electronics (740) and Appliances (733).

The lowest-rated industries of the 25 measured in terms of Simplicity, meanwhile, were Health Insurance (336) and General Insurance (269).

The industry rankings were slightly different within the US, with Internet Search leading again, but this time followed by Restaurants, Retail/Grocery, Internet Retail, and Appliances.

In looking at some brand-specific highlights, the results indicate that:

  • Google is the top brand in the US by Simplicity Index, followed by Netflix, Zappos.com, Amazon and Amazon Prime;
  • YouTube led all social media brands globally, coming in at #8, with the closest competitor Instagram (#55) far behind and LinkedIn (#92) last among social brands measured; while
  • YouTube again led social media brands in the US, but came in with a far lower ranking of #46.

Of note, although Social Media was low in the global industry rankings (#18) and in most individual markets, it ranked second overall in the Middle East.

The full report is available here [pdf].

About the Data: The study is based on a survey of 14,044 consumers across 9 countries: US (1,755); UK (1,764); Germany (1,750); Sweden (1,751); Mainland China (1,751); India (1,759); UAE and Saudi Arabia (1,752); and Japan (1,762). During the study, respondents rated a total of 857 brands. The brands were selected as a representative set that respondents would be most likely to know and/or use in each country.

The Brand Simplicity Score was calculated with the following inputs:

  • The simplicity and complexity of the brands products, services, communications and interactions in relation to its industry peers;
  • How consistently the brands’ experiences and communications are rated;
  • How aligned non-user and user perceptions are (privileging aligned perceptions); and
  • The Simplicity Score for the brands’ industries or categories.

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