Kara Swisher, Recode (the slash can bite my ass):
In an interesting new study that measures consumer brand strength, Microsoft reigned supreme while perennial winner Apple lagged behind. The reason? The Seattle area software giant was deemed just-us-folks, while the Silicon Valley style icon was unapproachable.
Huh? Let’s let UTA Brand Studio’s Larry Vincent explain (emphasis mine):
“Brand Dependence is a distinct measure of brand equity that determines how much people see a brand as being like themselves, sharing their values, and being an indispensable part of their lives. It is driven by brand-self connection (how much a brand is like me) and brand prominence (how automatically thoughts and feelings about a brand come to mind). It has been shown in numerous studies to be a distinct and better predictor of behavior than typical measures of brand attitudes (‘I like that brand,’ ‘That brand is cool,’ etc.)”
What studies, where?
Also, it seems funny that neither UTA nor Recode disclosed that Larry Vincent used to work on Microsoft’s brand strategy. Perhaps they simply forgot, but it seems pertinent.
Consider the source. In many of these cases the source is not pushing science, they’re pushing themselves. CouponCodes4U was interested in one thing: getting its name in publications like the LA Times. And mission accomplished.
Back to Larry Vincent:
“Among the ways to interpret this index, for example, is that Microsoft isn’t dead yet, and Apple is vulnerable,” he said. “Apple is vulnerable because of how polarized people were in their views about the brand. And Microsoft is still seen by many as being more like them.”
I’m sure Apple’s quaking with fear at the prospect of announcing their Q1 2014 earnings. Or giddy with excitement. It’s real hard to tell.