GLOBAL: Aldi, the German discount retailer, has been named as the top brand in the world for connecting with consumers through "simplicity" while Lidl, another German retailer, has achieved third place, according to new global rankings.

Aldi retained its top position for another year in the latest Global Brand Simplicity Index from Siegel+Gale, the brand consultancy, while Lidl and Miele, the German appliance maker, entered the top ten for the first time – at #3 and #9 respectively.

Joining the three German brands in the global top ten were Google (#2), McDonald's (#4), Netflix (#5), IKEA (#6), C&A (#7), Subway (#8) and Amazon (#10).

Now in its fifth year, the Index questioned more than 12,000 consumers across eight markets about the perceived simplicity of 585 brands in relation to their products, services, interactions and communications.

In Germany, Aldi came out on top once again this year, followed by Google, Amazon, Penny Markt, Lidl, McDonald's, Bild, IKEA, Miele and Tchibo, the coffee chain.

It also overtook Amazon to lead the UK rankings, with the top ten rounded out by Premier Inn, McDonald's, Google, department store John Lewis, supermarket chain Sainsbury's, the BBC, Asda and First Direct, the finance group.

Zappos, the online shoes and apparel brand, topped the US list, followed by Amazon, Subway, Pizza Hut, Netflix, Trader Joe's, supermarket chain Kroger, McDonald's and Chipotle, the Mexican-style restaurant group.

In the other markets covered, Google emerged as the number one brand identified for simplicity in India, the Middle East and Sweden, while WeChat, Baidu and took the top three places in China.

"One of the pillars of our simplicity story is that simplicity pays," said Howard Belk, co-chief executive of Siegal+Gale in comments to the New York Times.

"Companies that embrace simplicity win more customers, have customers who are more loyal and can charge a premium for products," he explained.

This advice appeared not to have been adopted by global insurance group AXA, which claimed last place on the global Index. Nor by Ryanair, the Irish budget airline, which came out poorly for customer service, the Daily Mail reported.

The importance of simplicity in marketing was a theme highlighted recently in this year's Warc 100, which ranked the world's best marketing campaigns based on performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions.

Data sourced from Siegel+Gale, New York Times, Daily Mail; additional content by Warc staff