Mobiles of greater interest to youth than laptops & TVs, DTH, consumer electronics grabbed least attention
Think back to those days when telephones were black bakelite boxes propped up proudly in the living room, when refrigerators were not frost-free, and boxy televisions without remotes were top-of-the-line.
Today, we look upon these electronic appliances as charming museum artifacts. While the older demographic might marvel at the extent of this evolution, younger consumers have grown up in this technologically advanced world. How does this younger audience view various categories in the technology space and the brands within them?
Rediffusion-Y&R's proprietary Brand Asset Valuator tool evaluates various tech categories in their order of importance and interest amongst 18 to 24 year olds.
For our analysis, we looked at over 100 brands in the following tech categories: websites, mobile phones, telecom operators, cameras, consumer electronics and home Appliances (CEHA), computers/laptops, internet service providers (ISPs), and DTH.
We found that mobiles and telecom operators held the top spot, closely followed by computers/laptops, websites, ISPs, and cameras. While these were the tech categories that really mattered to the youth, CEHA and DTH grabbed the least of their attention.
Take the example of Samsung, which has a presence in multiple tech categories. Samsung mobile phones are regarded as the highest by the youth, followed by computers, cameras, and lastly, CEHA. Interestingly, the 'Brand Stature' for all categories within Samsung is similar, indicating high awareness and regard for the brand. However, 'Brand Strength', which captures differentiation (reason to stand out) and relevance (reason to adopt), varies across categories for Samsung. We noted similar trends for other brands as well, like Sony.
Further analysis helped us understand the prevalent codes by which tech categories were positioned in the minds of the youth. While trust is central to any brand, what else were these brands and categories known for? Various statistical analyses show that there are multiple routes to building a successful technology brand. We found that CEHA is largely seen as reliable and good value, while the DTH category is known for being energetic and 'customer caring'.
In contrast, mobile phones are seen as glamorous and distinctive and websites are seen as unique and intelligent. What begins to emerge is a picture of brand positions that range from trust, value, design, and innovation. Does the positioning of reliability and value hold any importance for the youth? Or are they increasingly paying attention to brands that speak innovation and social connectivity to them?
Going back to the Samsung example, the hypothesis is that, for Samsung, the halo effect of its mobile phones category extends itself to other categories, like computers, cameras, and CEHA. Just to corroborate, we looked at Micromax, which sits high in the 'Commitment' quadrantBSE -1.57 % of the power gridBSE -0.23 %as a successful mobile phone brand; it is also now extending itself to LEDs, home theatres, and the CEHA space. It will be interesting to see whether the halo effect is as powerful as for Samsung, and if consumers respond favorably to these extensions.
What the Rediffusion-BAV Insights reveal is a fundamental shift in the way tech brands are being positioned. The new-age brands that find youth as their primary audience are moving beyond the conventional conversation of utility and features towards a focus on life enrichment, freedom, distinctive individuality, social connectivity, and intelligence. The real challenge for singular brands in multiple technology categories is to decide what platform they want to own in these times.