Sorting the top global brands from the worst, branding agency Siegel+Gale has released its annual Global Brand Simplicity Index for 2014. Picking out the companies that offer the clearest, simplest and easiest to understand message from those it deems to be confused and convoluted, S+G takes a unique approach to ranking the world’s biggest brands but one that very much makes sense. Let’s take a look at the results for 2014, to see the movers, shakers and the shamed names in this esteemed index.


The Good

You might be surprised to learn that many of top rankers in this year’s global index are the cheap and cheerful companies that focus on good value, including ALDI, Lidl, McDonalds and IKEA. With a clear offering to customers and an honest approach to business, they are championed by consumers all over the world for their simple and reliable services.

Online retailers and technology providers such as Ebay, Amazon, Apple and Nokia also ranked in the top 25 for their efficient and easy to use services that made them popular with customers. These global brands proved that even the largest companies can streamline their systems, to ensure that the customer has a stress-free and straightforward experience.

The Bad

Despite the success of brands such as this year’s winner, ALDI, the index also demonstrated that low cost doesn’t necessary mean a brand will be in the good books of a consumer. Ryanair came a shocking second to last in the rankings this year, because although it portrays itself as an affordable airline, the complicated pricing structure and poor customer service makes it unpopular with customers.

The bottom 10 brands also included a mix of insurance companies, banks, and car rental companies, all of which were seen to fall short of the mark with their unsatisfactory customer service and complex or downright unreliable systems.

Why Does it Matter?

Simplicity in business comes in many forms, and can really affect that way that we interact with brands. According to Siegel+Gale, 70% of people would be more likely to recommend a brand that they have an easy or stress-free communications experience with.

Meanwhile, more complex brands are twice as likely to receive calls asking for more information or assistance from their customers. Failing to make a product or service clear from the outset makes complications later down the line much more common. So ultimately, the more simple and easy to identify a brand is, the better the result for the customers.

Collating the responses of over 12,000 people around the world, Siegel+Gale’s index is a great way to identify the best brands from the rest when deciding which companies to choose for products and services. By sharing experiences as a consumer through surveys, reviews, and forums, people can help to name and shame the worst offenders amongst the world’s biggest brands, and champion reliable and honest customer service.

I wonder whether this index will look the same at the end of 2015.

This article is written by Kelly Gilmour Grassam, a freelance copywriter from Yorkshire. You can follow her on Twitter at @KellygGrassam. This article has been written with helpful information from Every Contact Number