Branding gaffes as UK enterprise fails to keep it simple

UK businesses aren’t taking the ethos of simplicity seriously when it comes to branding

Branding gaffes as UK enterprise fails to keep it simple

A core challenge of any business is creating compelling products and services that customers want to buy. Turning these products into a bona fide brand in a crowded marketplace only complicates things. So keep it simple.

Simplicity should come top of the list when it comes to branding but UK businesses are losing the battle for simple communication with their customers. This is according to a report by Siegel+Gale that comprises of feedback from 1,750 consumers in eight countries.

The Simplicity Index measures the perceived simplicity or complexity of global brands’ products, services, interactions and communications in relation to their industry peers. On the top 10 simple global brands of this year’s Index, the UK didn’t feature, while Germany boasts three. Aldi, the German-based worldwide discount supermarket chain, came out on top as it did in 2013. German-based worldwide discount grocer, Lidl, came in No. 3 on the global list. German-based manufacturer of high-end domestic appliances, commercial equipment and fitted kitchens, Miele also made an appearance.

What are the Germans doing right? Why are Aldi and Lidl stealing market share from the likes of Tesco? The answer is: simplicity sells. The research shows that since 2009, a portfolio of the simplest global brands outperforms the major indexes by 170%. Also, 38% of consumers would pay more for simpler experiences and 70% are more likely to recommend a brand if it is simple. 

While complexity kills, the low performance of UK companies doesn’t just come down to poor branding; they are also guilty of complicated approaches to online shopping and overpriced premium ranges. 

The Siegel+Gale research also found that a new breed of disruptive start-ups is emerging, like Netflix and Airbnb. These companies are challenging the status quo and changing consumer expectations. The new blood are also keeping it simple. 

Ryan McChrystal
Ryan McChrystal

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