Verizon was named the Mobile Networks Brand of the Year among consumers according to the 2011 Harris Poll EquiTrend study. That’s not surprisingly, but, amazingly, Apple only ranks fifth in the Mobile Phones category.
In the Mobile Networks category, Verizon is highest ranked for the second-year running over archrival AT&T. Harris Interactive announced their Technology Brands of the Year in four other major categories: Mobile Phones (Motorola), Consumer Electronics (Sony), Computer Hardware (HP), and Gaming (Nintendo). Overall, awards are given in each of 46 different categories.
“Since the change in the portability of phone numbers, switching mobile phones and mobile networks is significantly easier,” says Jeni Lee Chapman, executive vice president of Brand and Communications Consulting with Harris Interactive. “Verizon’s strong brand equity can have a large impact when consumers have a choice.”
Motorola, buoyed by strong familiarity and a significant improvement over last year, led the Mobile Phones category, followed by HTC and Sony Ericsson. Nokia is fourth and Apple, ranked just above industry average, is fifth. Motorola offers both smart and feature phones, with the latter remaining a popular choice among consumers.
“Apple may have the market cornered on technology enthusiasts, but Motorola satisfies a much wider audience,” says Chapman. “There is still a large audience of consumers that aren’t interested in a smartphone running their life, and Apple doesn’t have a product to meet that need.”
Sony continues to be the market leader in Consumer Electronics, closely followed by Samsung, Panasonic and LG, who have all gained ground narrowing the gap in brand equity, according to Harris. In particular, Samsung and LG’s emergence and maturation in the space is reflected in its increased brand equity. Legacy brand computer hardware brand HP ranked highest in the computer category. In the highly competitive gaming category, Nintendo ranked highest, followed by competitors Sony and Microsoft’s Xbox.
The EquiTrend study evaluates measures including Equity, Consumer Connection, Commitment, Brand Behavior, Brand Advocacy, and Trust. This year’s study was conducted online among 25,099 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over between Jan. 11 and Jan. 27. A total of 1,273 brands were rated in 53 separate categories. Each respondent was asked to rate a total of 60 randomly selected brands.
Each brand received approximately 1,000 ratings. Data were weighted to be representative of the entire U.S. population of consumers ages 15 and over on the basis of age, sex, education, race/ethnicity, region, and income, and data from respondents ages 18 and over were also weighted for their propensity to be online.
— Dennis Sellers