Communications Brands Help Consumers in the UAE and Saudi Simplify Their Lives

December 7, 2011

Google, McDonald’s and Apple Ranked in the Top 10; Health and General Insurance Brands Rated Among the Lowest in Siegel+Gale’s Second Annual Global Brand Simplicity Index™

DUBAI, 7 DECEMBER 2011 – Consumers in the UAE and Saudi consider brands that help people to communicate as the backbone to taming complexity. This is one of the findings from global strategic branding firm Siegel+Gale’s second annual Global Brand Simplicity Index™, which surveyed more than 6,000 consumers across seven countries to uncover perceived points of complexity and simplicity in people’s lives.

Respondents ranked telecommunications/cell phones first among 25 industries in providing the simplest and most effective user experience. News-related media including print, online, broadcast and mobile outlets also hold a prominent place in the Global Brand Simplicity Index, finishing in the second spot on the industry list.

Internet search brands also rank among the industry leaders, with Google securing the top position overall for simplicity. Rising access to broadband and increased disposable income appears to have driven respondents to praise the power of simplicity in communications offerings from technology firms, saving them time and money, making their lives more efficient and opening up access to a wider world.

Leading the list of the top 10 simplest brands in the Middle East are Google, McDonald’s, Apple and Sony. Rounding out the top 10 are Asharq Al-Awsat, Samsung and Mobily.

Health insurance and general insurance industries struggled, finishing in 20th and 25th place, respectively—a result that is also reflected globally. The insurance industry’s complex processes and lack of clarity regarding coverage continue to frustrate consumers. Respondents voiced displeasure with insurers’ failures to offer clearly written policy documents and answer questions promptly and unambiguously.

The study revealed that people continue to not only demand simpler communications and interactions, but are also willing to pay for them. In addition, 72.8 percent of customers said they are more likely to recommend a brand that makes their customer experience simpler. For example, Middle East respondents said they are willing to pay an average of 6.1 percent more for improved shopping experiences, driven by the complexities of the region’s postal systems.

“Brands in the Middle East have much to gain if they can effectively streamline their communications and experiences for consumers,” said Philip Davies, President, EMEA. “Simplicity is a powerful tool that helps brands get into consumers’ heads faster, and stay there for longer, whilst building loyalty and trust.”

Across all industries, consumers in the UAE and Saudi are willing to pay between 4.8 and 7.2 percent more for brands they believe offer the greatest degree of simplicity. This represents a Simplicity Premium™, the added value people would place on having a more simplified experience with brands in various industries.

Siegel+Gale used the survey results to develop the 2011 Global Brand Simplicity Index™, which generates a Simplicity Score™, a rating of each brand and its category on the elements of the simplicity methodology. Siegel+Gale defines simplicity as ease of understanding, transparency, caring, innovation and usefulness of communications as well as how complex typical interactions are in relation to industry peers.

The 2011 Global Brand Simplicity Index™ top 10 Middle East brands are:

In the Middle East, brands ranked from a high of 1,004 (leaders) to a low of 314 (laggards).

Read the full report now.

About the 2011 Global Brand Simplicity Index™

Siegel+Gale’s Global Brand Simplicity Index™ is an output of global brand ratings based on an online survey of more than 6,000 consumers in seven different countries. Each rating comprises the simplicity/complexity of a brand’s interactions and communications in relation to their industry peers. The index also incorporates an industry simplicity score for a particular brand’s industry/category(ies). The annual research study was first conducted in 2010.

Siegel+Gale’s Global Brand Simplicity Index™ aims to demonstrate the power of simplicity in forging meaningful relationships between brands and consumers. This correlation between simplicity and loyalty is demonstrated by noteworthy findings throughout each region surveyed.

About Siegel+Gale

Siegel+Gale is a global strategic branding firm committed to building world-class brands through elegantly simple, unexpectedly fresh strategies, stories and experiences. With Simple is Smart as its operating philosophy, Siegel+Gale delivers powerful services in brand development, simplification, research and digital strategy.

Since its founding by branding pioneer Alan Siegel in 1969, Siegel+Gale has helped drive business results for brands such as American Express, Anayou, Bank of America, Dell, Delta Energy, Dow Chemical Company, The Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the Internal Revenue Service, ITFC, The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Microsoft, Motorola, Panasonic, Pfizer, Qatar Telecom, Roche, SAP, Sony PlayStation and Yahoo!

Siegel+Gale has offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Hamburg, Dubai, Shanghai and Beijing and strategic partnerships around the world as a member of the Omnicom Group of companies.

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