A new report from brand strategy firm Siegel + Gale outlines the impact of simplicity on a brand's revenue, loyalty and innovation. For the purpose of the report, simple brands are defined as "remarkably clear and providing unexpectedly fresh experiences."

The research shows that 75 percent of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand that provides "simpler experiences and communications." In the U.S., UK and Germany, brands that offer increased simplicity stand to capture a share of $50 billion, the report said.

To mine this data, Siegel + Gale spoke to 10,000 consumers in seven countries. Results were then broken down into two categories: A Brand Simplicity Score (rating each brand on perceived simplicity) and An Industry Simplicity Score (rating each industry on perceived simplicity).

Restaurant brand performances

Globally, a handful of restaurant brands ended up in the top 20 for simplicity, including:

4. McDonald's (behind ALDI, Amazon and Google)

5. KFC

10. Pizza Hut

11. Burger King

15. Subway

17. Starbucks

The report wrote the following about the brands in the top 10:

  • McDonald's: "The iconic fast food restaurant gets high marks for speed and convenience. But McDonald's also wins points for its accessible menu, transparent pricing and clear, concise messaging. And as concerns about obesity rise, McDonald's is moving forward with redesigned packaging to include QSR codes linked to nutritional information."
  • KFC: "Despite a minor setback in China following a food safety scare in early 2013, KFC managed to make the top 10 simplest global brands. Its straightforward lineup of food and pricing, paired with roadside ubiquity and a successful online coupon program, made KFC a favorite for many with an appetite for simplicity."
  • Pizza Hut: "The world's largest pizza franchise prides itself on accessibility and convenience. And with its memorable ads and made-to-order menus, it easily rises above the competition. Now, the brand's website provides a 'completely fresh online experience' – including the ability to place orders through Xbox."

United States results

The restaurant industry ranked No. 2 overall in the U.S. (behind the Internet search industry). Restaurant brands ranked include:

3. McDonald's. (behind Amazon and NetFlix)

4. Subway

6. Dunkin' Donuts

10. Starbucks

11. Pizza Hut

13. Burger King

14. KFC

U.S. consumers said they would spend 4.1 percent or more for simpler experiences at restaurants.

Other markets

McDonald's was No. 2 in the U.K., behind Amazon. KFC was No. 8; Burger King, 19, and Starbucks, 20.

In Germany, McDonald's was No. 2, behind ALDI. Burger King was No. 18. KFC was No. 22. Subway was No. 45.

In the Middle East, Pizza Hut was No. 10, followed by McDonald's, 15, KFC, 16 and Starbucks, 59.

In India: McDonald's was No. 7, followed by Domino's, 16, Pizza Hut, 29, KFC, 30 and Subway, 63.

Finally, in China, KFC was No. 4, followed by McDonald's, 15, Starbucks, 51 and Pizza Hut, 68.

Simple innovation ideas

Consumers in each market were asked what innovations would simplify their lives. Examples in the report include:

  • Boarding passes on your smartphone;
  • An electric car that can drive long distances before needing a recharge;
  • A machine that works as both a washer and dryer;
  • A self-driving car;
  • A touchscreen/hologram tables in stores that give virtual demos of products; and
  • A portable charger for your phone that's the size of a credit card and fits in your wallet.

Read more about trends and statistics.

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User Comments – Give us your opinion!
  • Nick Wright
    14293022
    You may get a simple experience at these companies, but that doesn't make the food any better. It's a dreadful culinary experience.
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