Picture by adilsonb
Research company Millward Brown recently released a report based on its TrustR Index, which ranks how much consumers trust leading brands and whether they would recommend them to others. As Mumbrella reports, there's just one tech brand in the top 10 for Australia -- mobile phone company Nokia (which was the top-rated brand in many other countries studied). You wouldn't expect such a list to be dominated by tech, but it's something of a surprise to see no mention of Apple, a company where reputation is a key marketing strategy.
So why does tech rate so poorly? There are a couple of possible explanations (leaving aside whether you think the methodology for this particular research is a reliable indicator in the first place):
Stuff goes wrong. Toothpaste invariably does what it's supposed to. The same, alas, is rarely true of technology, where things going wrong are the order of the day. Even brand that enjoy a reputation for reliability (such as Apple) have messed plenty of people up with an ill-considered iTunes update. That's undoubtedly inevitable -- software is a lot more complex than instant coffee -- but it's going to change the way people experience a particular product, and whether they'd recommend it to others.
Lack of emotional connection to the brand. While the typical Lifehacker reader is heavily into tech, for many people it's simply a tool to get work done. As such, it's less likely to come unbidden into their head when they're asked about what brands they trust. (It's telling in this context that Nokia, still the world's biggest-selling phone brand by some margin, rates so highly, given the personal nature of much mobile communication.)
Infrequency of purchase. In the case of high-value gear like PCs and smart phones, we might use them constantly, but we only purchase them relatively rarely. Many of the brands in the top 10 are supermarket staples that we have to buy on a regular basis, leading to a different relationship -- and one where 'trust' might be more important than more hard-nosed research.
Do you trust your favourite tech brands, or do you make your buying decisions in a more purposeful way? Share your strategies in the comments.
Lifehacker's weekly Loaded column looks at better ways to manage (and stop worrying about) your money.