updated 03:10 pm EDT, Mon April 3, 2006
Apple bucks trust erosion
Bose, Dell, Sony, Panasonic, and Hewlett-Packard are the technology brands that score the highest with US consumers, while Apple and TiVo were among the only brands to achieve an increase in consumer trust, according to a new survey by Forrester Research. Microsoft along with Toshiba, Hitachi, Gateway, and LG were amonst the lowest-rated companies. Forrester also found that the results showed a disconnect between the "Apple Computer" brand and the company's popular iPod. Forrester found that iPod owners did not appear to identify with the "Apple Computer" brand, which it said could mitigate the so-called "halo effect", which has been cited to help drive Mac sales. Bose, which led all brands, was described as "a gem to be mined" with 10 million regular users today, but more than 17 million consumers who aspire to use the brand. The survey found that Americans' trust in consumer technology companies is eroding when looking at results from 2003 to 2005.
The research firm said that the decline was due to ubiquitous technologies like PCs, HDTVs, and MP3 players reaching more price-conscious, mainstream consumers -- a major challenge for tech companies that must now sell to tech-averse customers who demonstrate little brand loyalty, according to report.
"Trust is a powerful way to measure a brand's value and its ability to command a premium price or drive consumers into a higher profit direct channel," said Forrester Vice President Ted Schadler. "A decline in trust causes brand erosion and price-driven purchase decisions, which in turn correlates with low market growth."
Forrester's Technology Brand Scorecard evaluated 22 of the best-known consumer technology brands, based on the responses of more than 4,700 consumers. The third, semi-annual survey ranked consumer electronics and personal computer manufacturers on consumer trust, brand usage, and future purchase intent.