A worldwide brand survey has shown that Aldi, Google and Ikea are among the companies which are best understood by consumers.
Design consultancy Siegel+Gale asked over 14,000 respondents across nine countries to rate 857 different brands, to form its Global Brand Simplicity Index 2017.
People provided answers based around their perceptions of brands, such as how familiar they were with them, how recently they had used them, the simplicity or complexity of a brand’s marketing and communications, and how easy the brands’ products and services were to use.
The brand simplicity score was then calculated using these answers, and looking at how brands within the same industry compared. Data was compared from both people who use a brand and those who do not, though precedence was given to user experience, says Siegel+Gale.
Respondents were asked across the US, UK, Germany, Sweden, China, Middle East, India and Japan.
The “simplest” brand across all countries was found to be Aldi, followed by Lidl, Google, Netflix, Ikea, Amazon, KFC, YouTube, McDonald’s and Subway.
Aldi was recognised for its “simple, consistent store layouts” alongside affordability and a “stress-free” customer experience, while Google was recognised as having a “pristine and no-nonsense homepage” and an “intuitive” user experience. Its changing logo also demonstrates “personality” and “a sense of humour”.
Ikea was recognised for its “minimalist” designs and variety of products, while Amazon was noted for its two-click online user shopping experience.
The most confusing – or least simple – brand was found to be insurance company AXA, followed by Aviva, Bupa, Linkedin, Avis, MetLife, Hertz, HSBC, Ryanair and Budget. These brands were seen to be “complex”, “misleading”, “confusing” and “opaque” by consumers.
In the UK, Amazon topped the brand simplicity index, while health insurance company AXA PPP Healthcare came last.
The research also found that 64% of consumers worldwide are willing to pay more for simpler user experiences, and 61% are more likely to recommend a brand because of its ease of use.
Howard Belk, chief creative officer at Siegel+Gale says the research shows that “brands that embrace simplicity are more profitable”.
The last few years have seen several brands moving towards more straightforward user experiences and simpler designs, such as the Co-op and Kodak reverting to older forms of their logos to communicate the heritage of their brand, and Instagram and Deliveroo going for flatter, more minimal aesthetics and quicker, fewer-click user experiences.