Yesterday, brand consultancy Siegel + Gale released its annual “Global Brand Simplicity Index.” The online survey of over 10,000 respondents in seven countries sought to determine which businesses customers perceived simple — from making their life simple, to understanding the brand’s simple message, to the way the brands made every interaction simpler (full methodology, here).

“In a world clouded with complexity, simplicity stands out,” Siegel + Gale’s study begins. “Simplicity inspires deeper trust and greater loyalty in customers, and clears the way to innovation for employees.”

The consultancy divides the world’s global brands into 25 industries and measures each brand on a 1,000-point scale. Overall, Internet Search brands score highest on the scale at 950 and General Insurance firms scrape the bottom at 258. Travel sectors appear at all points in the rankings, from the strongest sector, hotels, to the weakest, car rentals. Out of the 25 industries, travel brands rank as following, followed by their cumulative scores across all destinations.

9. Hotels (625)
11. Booking (595)
12. Airlines (574)
20. Trains (501)
23. Car Rentals (445)

Of the 92 global brands covered in the survey, the highest ranking travel brand is Hilton in 34th place (672). The world’s least-simple global brand for the second year in a row is low-cost carrier Ryanair, which the report describes as “seen as intentionally deceitful in its promises and pricing.”

Not all the travel brands show up in the global index — there’s a country/region index, too, as we’ll see below — but the ones that do rank are:

34. Hilton (672)
37. Best Western (668)
45. Expedia (636)
47. Holiday Inn (632)
52. Marriott (623)
53. Lufthansa (616)
67. Enterprise (566)
70. Europcar (559)
81. Budget (517)
82. EasyJet (513)
87. Avis (480)
89. Hertz (447)
92. Ryanair (265)

The study also looks at brands by region, which allows for insight into strong players without a global footprint. One fact that’s interesting: it’s still not just about money. Some of the most-liked brands are budget, or low-cost; the fact that Southwest in the U.S. scores so much better than Delta is telling, as is bargain-priced 7-Days Inn’s impressive showing in China, a destination that has an affinity for luxury brands. Here are the top travel brands by region:

United States
Best: 9. Southwest (828)
Worst: 116. Delta (429)

United Kingdom
Best: 4. Premier Inn (807)
Worst: 124. Ryanair (254)

Germany
Best: 43. Best Western (697)
Worst: 118. Ryanair (276)

Middle East
Best: 7. Emirates (824)
Worst: 121. Thrifty (313)

India
Best: 48. MakeMyTrip (713)
Worst: 119. Hertz (314)

China
Best: 11. 7-Days Inn (824)
Worst: 107. Air China (597)

The full study is below.

Download (PDF, 6.75MB)

Photo Credit: Still from the video explaining the awards.