Read the latest news and trends affecting global brands. Siegel+Gale's monthly newsletter contains insights and perspectives on the keys to building elegantly simple, surprisingly fresh brand strategies, stories and experiences.

November 2012

Innovation is the key to simplicity so why is it so complex?

The third edition of Siegel+Gale’s Global Brand Simplicity Index continues to prove that the brands that provide simpler experiences can charge a premium, and their stock prices will outpace others. But this time we’ve learned a lot more.

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October 2012

Simplicity rules

Google, Amazon, Apple—some of the strongest brands in the last decade. They have created billions in brand value and have industry—leading business performance. What else do they have in common? Their brand success can be directly tied to simplicity, to making life simpler for their users. They adhere to a set of simplicity rules to define their brand experiences. These rules are worth considering for any brand trying to simplify their customer experience and drive customer satisfaction, commitment and connection.

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September 2012

Chinese brands: Shift from production line to storyline

When it comes to brand strategy, many Chinese companies adhere to the following approach: focus on the quality of their products, but not the stories behind them. And they are always seeking ways to explain why people should trust them.

For example, mobile phone companies tend to emphasize how valuable their phones are in terms of price, function and quality. But consumers don’t learn how these brands work to create a product that enriches their (mobile) lives. Today, the general approach of Chinese brands tends to be highly rational, functional and focused on product specifics versus stories.

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August 2012

LinkedIn today: See all top headlines for who?

The new LinkedIn homepage has given the majority of its real estate to out-of-context updates, news headlines “for You” and advertisements. We all understand the shifting imperatives of well-established sites and the need to show real revenue to their long-suffering backers—and it’s not as if there wasn’t room for usability improvements. But I would have much preferred greater emphasis on group posts and profile changes, and a faceted profile search.

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July 2012

What makes your retail experience different?

It’s no secret that e-commerce is outpacing brick-and-mortar retail across the globe. From the U.S. and Europe to India and China, online sales are up. Some estimates show interest jumping 42% last year alone, and now 59% of shoppers rate online as their “overall favorite” shopping method.

Amazon, the poster child for success, follows one simple rule—the customer comes first. As CEO Jeff Bezos preaches, "You have to ask what your customers need and want, and then, no matter how hard it is, you better get good at those things."

Many retailers are following in Amazon’s footsteps but find it difficult to keep pace. So why compete in a game they can’t win?

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June 2012

From “Made in China” to “Brands from China”: English naming imperatives for Chinese brands

Like wildfire, Chinese companies are bringing their high-quality products and services—along with carefully honed marketing and branding strategies—to worldwide markets. The era of “Brands from China” has arrived. With this comes an imperative for Chinese companies to create brand names in English and other languages.

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May 2012

Why simplicity matters

Simplicity is the essence of the golden rule. It’s an indication of consideration: I’ve taken the time to move the complexity of something out of the way so that the recipient of a conversation, a deed, a gesture, a letter, understands what I mean.

Here are a few questions that I am frequently asked about simplicity, and why it’s critical for any business seeking growth and profitability.

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April 2012

“Verbing Up”: Getting that brand high

Is allowing your brand to “verb-up” a good thing in the long run? Or is it more like shooting heroin—a short-term high in trade for a crash later?

Heroin. Hard to imagine it was once a brand name. But it was—just like Aspirin, Escalator and Xerox. It was a brand name, among many, that suffered the fate of “genericide”—the buzzword that describes what happens when a brand name becomes generic. Genericide is often associated with the "verbing-up" of brand names.

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March 2012

So, how do you like them Apples?

It's interesting that people are so wrapped up in what Apple is calling the new, third-generation iPad—"iPad," with no number. Even though Steve Jobs is no longer around to launch Apple's products with the ease, grace and simplicity he was known and loved for, each product is still a shining breakthrough. With the new iPad, it's the dramatically improved display screen and data speed over cellular networks. So why all the fuss about the name—or lack thereof?

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February 2012

No one ever yahoo’d—The fallacy of pre-verbing a brand name (Part 1)

We "google" every day. We "tweet" incessantly. And we might "tivo" several times a week. Some of us old fogies even "xeroxed" and "videotaped" things once upon a time. In England people still "hoover" the floor. We like "swiffering" better than mopping. Back in the '80s, many of us enjoyed "rollerblading." And we all still "zip" things up—not just jackets.

But all of us have yet to "bing" or "yahoo." Why is that?

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