Keep it simple, keep it clear

In these complex times, consumers crave -- and are willing to pay a premium for -- simplicity when it comes to brand selection, reports Marketing Daily.

Consumers are willing to pay a 4-6 percent premium for brands they believe offer a greater degree of simplicity (defined as ease of understanding, transparency, caring, innovation and usefulness of communications, as well as interactions in relation to industry peers) over their competitors, according to a survey by branding consultant Siegel + Gale. If you extrapolate that out across all industries and sectors that could translate into $27 billion more, says Siegel + Gale co-president and CEO David Srere.

Respondents were asked how simple or complex they felt their lives were, how that complexity changed over time, what business sectors contributed most to making lives simpler or more complex, and what brands were the clearest and simplest in their communications and interactions with consumers. Some questions were open-ended, giving respondents the chance to offer greater insight into the value they placed upon simplicity.

Then the company generated a Brand Simplicity Index and a Simplicity Score, which rated each brand and its category on the elements of simplicity. The top 10 brands, in order, are: Netflix, Subway, McDonald's, Dunkin Donuts, Burger King, Walmart, Trader Joe's, Kroger, Starbucks and Old Navy.

Communicating without jargon, reducing stress by providing savings or value, increased convenience or accessibility and enabling consumers to live easier lifestyles, were the attributes those brands have in common. And, it appears complexity or not being straightforward creates distrust.