Why is simplicity so challenging?
For the third straight year, Aldi ranked first in Siegel+Gale’s Global Brand Simplicity Index. The grocer was commended for its "uncomplicated offers, low prices, high-quality products and great customer service" as well as "transparent price comparisons."
Other retailers making the top 10 list included Lidl, at three, which was praised for its "limited range of products, identical store layouts and clear frequent communications." Seventh-ranked IKEA won points for its simple designs and intuitive catalogs. Others ranking high globally included McDonald’s, Burger King, eBay, KFC, Walmart, Amazon and Carrefour.
Siegel+Gale, which is part of Omnicom Group, defines simple with five characteristics:
1. Easy to understand;
2. Transparent and honest;
3. Making customers feel valued;
4. Innovative and fresh;
The survey of more than 12,000 consumers across eight countries found that 63 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for simpler experiences and 69 percent are more likely to recommend a brand because it’s simple.
A number of executives were also interviewed around the challenges of delivering simplicity.
Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos, thinks delivering simplicity goes against human nature. He pointed to a struggle between trusting "the simplicity of the story and being 100 percent precise in providing all the information. Most people aren’t comfortable with not being 100 percent precise."
At Zappos, management relies on customer loyalty representatives to deliver simplicity.
"One philosophy we’ve always had is to try not to make policies that address the one percent at the inconvenience of the 99 percent," said Mr. Hsieh. "It’s important to trust employees, because it comes down to culture. It’s hard for an unhappy employee to deliver great customer experiences. But cultural change is a long-term process."
John Costello, CMO, Dunkin’ Brands, said c-level leaders have to walk the talk. He said, "As leaders, we need to not only set a focused direction, but to make sure we can help our teams focus on the most important things, and clear the non-important things off their plates. Also don’t busy team members with projects that don’t meet the priorities."
"Focus on how you are making things better for your customer," advises Norman De Greve, CMO, CVS Health. "The center of gravity in big companies is often inside the company, and not outside it. It’s interesting that, for a small company, the center of gravity is usually the customer."
- Siegel+Gale Launches Findings from the Sixth Annual Global Brand Simplicity Index; Demonstrates the Power of Simple Experiences for Established and Emerging Brands – Siegel+Gale/PRNewswire
- Global Brand Simplicity Index 2015 – Siegel+Gale
Why do in-store experiences as well as shopper messaging often end up more complicated than simple? What advice would have for c-level execs around creating simple experiences for customers?