A Covid-complicated life needs one less complex brand to grapple with. Yet, many brands throughout the world are less competitive in delivering simplicity (or less complexity) at the core of their brand existence.

Zouheir Zoueihed, Managing Director at Siegel+Gale Dubai

Long gone are the days of impersonal purchases and mass market product experience, where the product was the focus and people jumped hurdles to achieve need fulfillment. Today’s consumers are more invested in less complex brands and would choose products that are not only useful to them but provide personal relationship, meaning, trust, innovation, and transparency. Brands that can deliver these are considered simpler. Simplicity has always been important—whether brands knew it or not. However, the pandemic has placed a premium on it: as it has made life more complex, people now crave brands that make their lives simpler. 

Siegel+Gale’s hallmark World’s Simplest Brands index, now in its ninth edition, validates this growing global demand for simplicity. The study ranks the leading brands on simplicity, surveying more than 15,000 people across nine countries about what simplicity means to them and which brands deliver such at the heart of the customer experience. 

The findings show that simplicity inspires deeper trust, strengthens loyalty, and increases willingness to spend. For instance, the study found that 76% of people are more likely to recommend a brand that delivers simple experiences, and 57% of people are willing to pay more for simpler experiences. Furthermore, by failing to provide simple experiences, companies leave an estimated $402 billion on the table in the US alone. So, simplicity not only reduces stress and improves the lives of consumers everywhere, but it drives financial gain for the brands that embrace it.

Reward for Simplicity

World’s Simplest Brands (WSBs) in KSA and the UAE, in many ways brought to life ease and contextual meaning to their customers and communities. As a result, these brands have recorded remarkable jumps in ranking from the WSBs Eighth Edition. These savvy brands clearly embraced simplicity—treating it not as a byproduct, but as grounds for their success. Brands like,

  • Samsung

This innovative brand moved three spots up to take the much coveted first place in KSA and third place in UAE. Renowned for its state-of-the-art products, Samsung has demonstrated simplicity at the heart of its customer experience. For example, The Frame. The television transitions effortlessly from displaying content when turned on and works of art when turned off—the simple, picture-frame-like trim accentuating the masterpieces. Given ongoing travel restrictions, many people have been unable to visit museums. The Frame has acted as a personal museum. And Mona Lisa has joined #Quaranteams worldwide.

  • Amazon

Amazon has been on a meteoric rise on the simplicity index – from UAE’s 19th place in the Eighth Edition to First place in the Ninth Edition. This brand has maintained a user-centric product design from e-commerce to philanthropy to entertainment. Now offering synchronized transcripts of select podcasts for deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences, Amazon simplifies the user experience and advances inclusion and equity ambitions. 

  • Noon

The dynamic brand made its debut entry at #5 in the UAE simplicity index and moved 52 positions up in KSA to claim eighth place. What changed? The homegrown ecommerce marketplace in the Middle East is looking to become the number one online retailer in the region. From supporting a dynamic digital economy for consumers and local businesses to being the first ecommerce platform to introduce Arabic as the native language for its user interface to standby fraud detection system for products, Noon.com is setting a new design standard for online shopping in the region

  • Zain

From #40 to #5 in KSA, Zain showed the power of a simple connection – providing services that nurtured relationships and maintained continuity during an abruptly-disconnected time. Take the Yaqoot mobile-only platform. To ensure uninterrupted connection with what/who you care about, Yaqoot provides packages that focus on gifting others (vouchers, greeting cards, data & minutes), unlimited access to social apps (that will not eat away from your data) and the freedom to manage the service. 

  • Union Coop

Taking sixth place on the UAE top 10, Union Coop moves up five ranks by ensuring continuous improvement and achievement of its vision to be the “best brand of everybody and their all-time favourite choice”. From sustainable hydroponic agricultural mechanism to hypermarkets and smart shopping concepts, Union Coop not only caters to its consumers but to the planet. 

Society is complex. Covid made this complexity even more complicated, making brand complexity a negative externality that impacts both customer cognition and company bottom line. Enlightened CMOs believe that seamless brand experiences reduce the negative cognitive effort required of consumers to interact with them and that the brands that do so will be rewarded. 

As consumers increasingly crave experiences that are easy to understand; transparent and honest; caring for and meeting their needs; innovative and fresh; and useful; in short, simple; now is the time for all brands and CMOs to re-examine their commitment to simplicity, for simplicity may well be the optimum benchmark for reward after all.

You can browse the full rankings by country and industry at worldssimplestbrands.com