Monday, April 03, 2006

Forrester Research: Consumer Brand Trust

Ted Schadler at Forrester Research posts at Devices, Media, And The Future Of Everything blog about his recent report on consumer brand trust. The report asked consumer "how much do you trust the brand on a score of 1=Distrust a lot to 5=Trust a lot." Schadler notes the report has generated a lot of buzz in the blogosphere with folks "picking the data up and harnessing it to tell their own story -- gamers to diss Microsoft and Nintendo, Sony lovers to promote Sony, etc." Here's the real story from Schadler's view:

  1. Brand trust correllates with brand potential -- how many consumers say they want to use the brand but aren't today. This is critically important for brand marketers: Brand drives preference. Need to get some budget for a branding campaign? We've got the data to make the case.
  2. For most technology brands, trust has fallen since 2003. This is a big story for the entire technology sector. The reasons are many, but our analysis shows that more lower-income technology pessimists (you call them "mainstream" consumers -- but that doesn't help marketers much) are using technology brands today. And low-income tech pessimists have much lower brand trust than high-income tech optimists.
  3. Overall, PC brand trust is higher than CE brand trust. Why? Probably because consumers invest more of themselves in their PCs than in their televisions.
  4. Apple iPod owners don't always know that they are Apple Computer users. How do we know? Because only 5.2 million households recognize that they are regular users of the "Apple Computer" brand. That's gotta hurt if you're trying to sell iMacs to iPod owners.
  5. The profile of aspiring users -- those who want to use the brand but don't today -- reveals critically important things to marketers: Dell must find technology pessimists where they shop (offline); Apple must convince consumers that its products are affordable; and Sony must make the brand interesting to brand-agnostic consumers.