IT brands offer 'simplest' interactions, study shows
Middle East consumers willing to pay more for ‘simple’ products
Technology companies were ranked among top brands for providing consumers with simpler interactions and experiences, according to a report by strategic branding company Siegel+Gale.
The Global Brand Simplicity Index, which aims to gauge how consumers judge a brand based on perceived points of complexity and simplicity, found that Apple, Amazon.com, Siemens, Toshiba and Samsung were ranked in the top ten brands for simplicity by consumers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
The survey considered factors such as whether brands communicate directly, clearly and without jargon, reduced stress by providing savings/value, saved time by increasing convenience and accessibility, facilitated ease of use and interactions, and enabled consumers to get more from life such as deeper relationships and easier going lifestyles.
The study, which covered 6,000 consumers across seven countries, found that consumers place a ‘Simplicity Premium' on brands that deliver simplicity, with consumers willing to pay between 11 and 34% for brands that they believe offer the greatest value of simplicity. The survey reported finding similar results in the US, China and India.
Middle East respondents judged the technology and media sectors to be the simplest in their interactions.
"This survey identifies the industries, consumer segments and geographies where it's possible to differentiate and command a price premium based on simplicity," said Howard Belk, Siegel+Gale co-CEO and chief creative officer. "If industries like mortgage, credit card and insurance want to regain consumer trust and thrive in this tough environment, they need to take a hard look at the negative repercussions of complexity."
The survey also showed that brands that deliver simplicity also offer a better return for investors. A stock portfolio of the top 10 publicly traded brands in the Global Brand Simplicity Index would have made a 79.9% ROI from start of 2009 to end of 2010, compared to only a 35% return from a similar investment on the S&P 500 or 28.1% from the Dow.
"It's an insightful survey that demonstrates the powerful desire for simplicity in an increasingly complex world," said Tarek Sultani, managing director, Siegel+Gale Middle East. "As the Middle East continues to rapidly grow and develop, no brand can afford to overlook the financial value that can be gained through offering simpler customer experiences."