Saturday, June 24, 2006

Technology brands

I used to think that technology and brand marketing were two separate disciplines, at least the way that I had seen them practiced in the past.

So I found the
Forrester Research report The 2005 Technology Brand Scorecard of interest. Forrester has run this benchmarking survey for a number of years and compared to 2003 most device manufacturers saw their trust level fall. Only two brand rose: Apple and TiVo.

Apple however hasn't had it all its own way, iPod users tended not to recognise themselves as Apple Computer users, so Apple would be wise to emphasis the tie between the two devices. Apple also needs to reach out to less affluent families and persuade them that purchasing an Apple is good value. (This shouldn't be too hard with devices like the Mac Mini and MacBook).

Forrester Research measured their scorecard on three parameters:

1. Brand trust. We ask consumers to indicate how much they trust each brand on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 means "distrust a lot" and 5 means "trust a lot." All brands are trusted by their users more than they are distrusted, scoring well over the midpoint of 3: Scores for PC and CE manufacturers range from a low of 3.9 for Microsoft to a high of 4.6 for Bose. To calculate a brand trust score, we also factor in the change in brand trust since 2003.

2. Brand potential. The number of households that plan to use a brand — but aren't regular users today — are a brand's aspiring or potential users. This untapped market includes new customers, consumers who don't use the brand at all today, and casual customers, consumers who don't consider themselves regular users today. Aspiring users range from a low of 3.2 million households for Microsoft to a high of 17.5 million households for Bose. To calculate a brand potential score, we also deduct the "at-risk" customers, consumers who give the brand a trust score of 1 or 2 and are at risk of defection.

3. Brand adoption. Forrester asks whether a household uses a brand "regularly," yielding adoption levels that range from a high of 50.8 million households for Microsoft to a low of 3.8 million households for TiVo. To calculate a brand adoption score, we also factor in the change in the number of regular users between 2003 and 2005.