Dim halo: Forrester survery shows iPod owners don’t identify with “Apple Computer” brand

Bose, Dell, Sony, Panasonic, and Hewlett-Packard are the technology brands that score the highest with US consumers according to a new survey by Forrester Research, Inc. Forrester’s Technology Brand Scorecard evaluated 22 of the best-known consumer technology brands, based on the responses of more than 4,700 consumers.

This is Forrester’s third, semi-annual survey ranked consumer electronics and personal computer manufacturers on consumer trust, brand usage, and future purchase intent. A sample of the rankings:
• Highest-rated companies: Bose, Dell, Sony, Panasonic, and Hewlett-Packard.
• Lowest-rated companies: Toshiba, Hitachi, Microsoft, Gateway, and LG.

A top finding: Americans’ trust in consumer technology companies is eroding. Forrester believes that the decline in trust from 2003 to 2005 is due to ubiquitous technologies like PCs, HDTVs, and MP3 players reaching more price-conscious, mainstream consumers. That’s a major challenge for tech companies that must now sell to tech-averse customers who demonstrate little brand loyalty. “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 in the press release. “A decline in trust causes brand erosion and price-driven purchase decisions, which in turn correlates with low market growth.”

Additional highlights include:
• Apple and TiVo are the only brands that enjoyed an increase in consumer trust between 2003 and 2005. But the results show a disconnect between the “Apple Computer” brand and the company’s wildly popular iPod. In our survey, iPod owners did not appear to identify with the “Apple Computer” brand, which could impede the so-called “halo effect” that iPods might have on Macintosh sales.
• Bose is a gem to be mined with 10 million regular users today, but more than 17 million consumers who aspire to use the brand.
• Despite brilliant growth in the past two years, Korean manufacturers such as Samsung and LG engender low consumer trust.

“The 2005 Technology Brand Scorecard” includes profiles of each brand’s regular users and aspiring users, data that holds lessons for marketers seeking to reach new customers. The Forrester report is available to WholeView 2(TM) clients and can be found at http://www.forrester.com
If we had a nickel for every time we heard some mall shopper say to another, “let’s go to the iPod store,” we’d run fewer ads. These survey findings back up something about which we’ve written many times before: We firmly believe that a short 5-10 minute video explaining what Apple Macs can do for average personal computer users should be shipped on every video-capable iPod sold. A video that already exists, no less! Such an omission is criminal. It’d be easily deleted, unobtrusive, and Windows-only users would be able to quickly see what they’re missing. Why this isn’t currently the case is baffling. Apple is squandering a huge opportunity to inform Windows iPod owners about Mac OS X. Apple doesn’t even need to Think Different to do such a thing, they just need to think.

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Related article:
Apple in secret deal with Microsoft to hide Macintosh from world? – January 19, 2006


  1. Totally agree with your take, MDN. The opportunity is not only huge, its practically free. Shoot, if Apple SOLD the opportunity to host ads on new video-enabled iPods, big corps would pay huge bucks for the space!

    Unbelievable. Secret deal? Maybe…

  2. so what’s Apple’s email address so we can tell them what they should be doing? Maybe they just haven’t thought of it yet?

    Or maybe they don’t want people to know…

  3. (I didn’t know Volunteers knew how to use computers)

    On another subject, it seems the drum beat on MDN is always how dumb it is that Apple doesn’t advertise. As smart as everyone thinks SJ is, has it occured to anyone that maybe Apple has good reasons not to advertise? I think they should advertise, but then I’m not the guiding genius behind the company either. Is everyone on the forum smarter than the pros at Apple? Jeez.

  4. Apple must’ve paid them for this report so they could use this disconnect in the Apple vs Apple suit.

    Seriously, what did Forrester measure to show that iPod owners don’t identify with the Apple brand? Every PC user that I know that owns an iPod, knows full well that it’s from Apple.

  5. MDN – You’re right about the video. My brother in law sits and drools over the screen shots of the long delayed Vista when he could have been experiencing this and more for the last several years with OS X! His family has three iPods and he still won’t try a Mac!

  6. iPod has become so universal that it is the word used to describe “portable mp3 players”…looking at a Dell DJ…someone might say “What brand of iPod is that”

    Keenex intead of facial tissue
    Coke instead of carbonated beverage (if you live in the south)

  7. I’m beginning to wonder if Apple doesn’t include a video with every new iPod for an actual legal reason of some sort. Because they’re a very smart company that, I’m sure, came up with that idea long before we did, right?

    At least that’s what I’m hoping. Because if they just haven’t thought of that yet, it kinda deflates my Apple balloon. Just a bit.


  8. All this means is the iPod dept (including iTunes) maybe should be spun off as a separate company.


    Anybody know the answer: What is the percentage of iPods sold to Windows owners vs. Mac owners?

  9. I didn’t read the article admittedly, was it implying that people didn’t connect the apple of iPod fame with making computers or that they just didn’t connect Apple with iPods full stop? If it’s the latter then people are just stupid.

    Forget including an OS X video with iPods, why don’t they include links to them within iTunes in the video section? The quality of apple streaming video is pretty damn good and it would take no time for people to delete. Better than nothing at all.

  10. MDN: “If we had a nickel for every time we heard some mall shopper say to another, “let’s go to the iPod store,” we’d run fewer ads.”

    Ahhhh…so that´s why MDN doesn´t have a site called: “iPod Daily News”.

    Or do they? MDN – you guys are hilarious. Clueless, but hilarious.

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