Skift Originals

Travel brands have the most complex user experiences, though hotels fare OK

Nov 26, 2012 9:07 am

How people rated various parts of the car rental experience.


That’s according to the annual Brand Simplicity Index for 2012 conducted by global branding firm Siegal+Gale, rating the consumer experiences across various industries and brands that are part of it, globally. Travel brands, for most part, are at the middle or bottom of user experience (which is what the survey means by simplicity). Worst are car rentals and airline brands, not surprisingly. (Full report PDF here)

Below are global rankings of various travel brands, most of them falling from last year:

RANK    RANK CHG.*    BRAND (SCORE)
35          ▼ 2                     Hilton (685)
36          ▲ 13                   Expedia (680)
46          ▼ 19                   Holiday Inn (657)
53          ▲ 12                  Marriott (640)
69           0                        Best Western (594)
71          ▲ 8                     Budget (560)
73           N/A                    Lufthansa (545)
77          ▼ 5                    Avis (522)
81          ▲ 4                    Enterprise (506)
82          ▼ 1                    Hertz (502)
84          ▼ 6                    Ramada (492)
89          ▼ 41                  easyJet (461)
90          ▼ 15                  Europcar (446)
94          ▼ 8                    Ryanair (260)

And for United States, the brand rankings mirror travel’s overall woes:

15          ▼ 1                   Southwest Airlines (695)
24          ▲ 69                 KAYAK (674)
38          ▲ 10                 Holiday Inn (616)
45          ▲ 49                 Best Western (606)
49         ▲ 23                  Budget (604)
52         ▲ 13                  Marriott (597)
53         ▼ 30                  Expedia (596)
64         ▼ 39                  Comfort Inn (577)
67         ▼ 46                  Hilton (564)
68         ▲ 37                 JetBlue Airways (564)
78         ▲ 5                   Ramada (538)
80         ▲ 34                 Alamo (536)
86         ▼ 54                 Days Inn (516)
89         ▼ 14                Priceline.com (501)
91         ▼ 23                Orbitz (497)
95         ▲ 20                Enterprise (488)
98         ▼ 16                Avis (463)
99         ▲ 8                  Delta Air Lines (445)
102       0                       American Airlines (438)
106       ▼ 53                Hertz (419)
112       ▲ 5                  United/Continental (380)
115       ▼ 25                Amtrak (373)
117       ▼ 11                US Airways (341)

Southwest’s ranking is not surprising, but this is heartening for Kayak, which is in the process of being bought by Priceline. From the survey:

KAYAK’s rise—up 69 spots from last year to #24—shows its streamlined, intuitive web and app interfaces are winning simplicity points. Respondents say KAYAK has raised the bar for online booking with a “clear, simple, easy-to-use website” that shows how “simple looking for reservations can be” by offering itinerary management tools, flight status updates and price alerts.

And below, comparison of user experience across various industries, with travel not faring that well across its sub-categories:


Meanwhile, the hotel industry is the best performing in travel when it comes to simplicity of experience, but problems abound, according to the study:

Loyalty reward programs play a big role for many travelers when it comes time to book a return trip to a global or national chain. Nevertheless, many hotels seem to have checked out on this point, failing to create easy-to-understand programs on which to capitalize.
Customers described their experiences with rewards—including complicated earning schemes, tiered redemption levels and booking jargon—as anything but simple.
Globally, technology gets the most credit for simplifying the hotel experience. Respondents preferred large chains with easy-to-navigate touchpoints ranging from websites and convenient booking to expedited check-in and checkout.

 

 

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