Apple's biggest smartphone rival, Samsung, has overtaken the Cupertino-based company when it comes to brand simplicity, a key indicator in determining a firm's popularity with customers and employees, according to a survey by Siegel & Gale.
The Global Brand Simplicity Index evaluates customers' experiences with various global brands, and argues that a "simple" brand is vital for a company's customers as well as its employees, creating a higher level of loyalty and willingness to pay from the former, and increased innovation from the latter.
The survey by Siegel & Gale interviewed 10,000 people in seven countries.
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When it comes to global ranking, Samsung is now ranked eighth, with Siegel & Gale commenting, "Its flagship product, the Android-operated Galaxy, has been stealing iPhone market share with its easy-to-use functionality and elegant design."
The Samsung/Apple rivalry continues to heat up. Samsung recently launched a new curved smart phone in Korea, a first step for the company's flexible screen technology that will grace smartwatches and fitness trackers.
Apple meanwhile showed off its new iPad Air and iPad Mini on Tuesday. The new iPad Air weighs only one pound and is 20 percent thinner than its predecessor.
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Elsewhere in the Global Brand Simplicity Index, European-based supermarket retailer ALDI was ranked first, with Siegel & Gale praising the budget store for focusing on the essentials in its market. It was "trusted by consumers to always deliver the best value and the right amount of product choice."
ALDI's no-frills mastery contrasted with Ryanair, which was labeled the least simple global brand, due to its reputation as being "intentionally deceitful in its promises and pricing."
Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary came under fire last year in the U.K. after a mother of two paid around $380 at the airport to print off her family's boarding passes due to a "hidden" Ryanair rule that charges passengers who don't print off their own tickets.
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A respondent for the Siegel & Gale survey described Ryanair's customer experience as a "minefield."
Joining ALDI and Samsung in the top ten global brands were Amazon (2), Google (3) and McDonalds (4), with the latter being praised for an accessible menu, transparent pricing and clear, concise messaging. "As concerns about obesity rise, McDonald's is moving forward with redesigned packaging to include QR codes linked to nutritional information," the survey noted.
Back down at the bottom with Ryanair was another budget airline, Easyjet, again due to extra costs and surcharges.
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While Google is ranked third in the list, Google Plus, the social network side of the Internet behemoth, is ranked at number 83.
"Turns out Google Plus is more of a negative than positive—the opposite of the elegant simplicity for which Google is known," the report stated.
"Circles and Hangouts have brought clutter and confusion, and failed to lure users away from social network titan Facebook."