What are people looking for when it comes to their cars? The answer is simple. Strategic branding firm Siegel+Gale has just released their annual 2013 Brand Simplicity Index, which examined the impact of simplicity in the auto industry through the eyes of 10,000 people across 7 countries.

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After recent issues with recalls, automakers Honda, Nissan and Toyota are taking pains to keep quality and reliability top of mind for consumers. Interestingly, Toyota seems to be doing something right in the group, emerging as the the #1 auto brand on the U.S. list, ranked at #27 out of a total of 125 top brands spanning automotive, banking, retail, finance and other industries. Honda, on the other hand, came in at #47, and Nissan didn’t event make the top 125.  Toyota is the #1 most simple automaker globally as well, coming in #32, beating out luxury automakers BMW at #48, Mercedes at #49 and Audi at the bottom of the list at #79.

The report found that what respondents found most confusing in their experiences with car brands overall is making sure that they are getting a price that is the most fair and offers them the best value. The simplest piece of the puzzle happens after the purchase is complete – getting insurance for their new ride.

Is a simple experience important to us as automotive consumers? According to the study, the answer is a definite yes. The report asked consumers whether they would be willing to pay more for a simpler experience – and how much. In the auto industry, that figure came out to an estimated $2.366 billion, money that auto manufacturers are leaving on the table by being overly complex. And while Toyota scored well, the automotive industry as a whole ranked #17 out of the top 25 industries in the US. The people have spoken, and auto companies have some thinking to do.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at guilfoil.j@blastmagazine.com. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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