All Brands Have Meaning
Whether carefully and strategically considered or by default, all brands hold associated meanings in the market place. Well considered brands establish a competitive brand proposition (their brand strategy) with layers of meaning to both differentiate themselves from their competitors and to connect with their audience. These brand reinforce their meaning through all of their actions or brand touch points. As a brand agency we help brands to define their meaning and create the brand design for all their communications in order to create a consistent association with these layers of meaning in the minds of their customers.
Apple Vs Microsoft
Today we compare the brand associations of consumer technology icons Apple & Microsoft.
A Snapshot of Brand Association
The clever people at Brand Tags have been busy collecting a comprehensive list of more than 1.7 million associations that people have with brands. The result is a unique opportunity for those brands to compare the meaning and messages of their brand communication strategy with the brand associations of a cross section of the market.
A Comparison of Brand Associations
As expected, both brands have a high level of association with descriptive terms such as ‘computer’, ‘pc’ and ‘software’. Both brands boast strong levels of association with their product line; ‘Windows’, ‘Mac’, ‘iPod’ , ‘Office’ and ‘Word’. Also, interestingly both brands maintain a strong association with their founders and leaders; ‘Steve Jobs’ and ‘Bill Gates’, reflecting the brand equity that these two industry icons continue to maintain. However, from there it gets interesting to say the least. Given the enormous number of people who have contributed the brand associations (more than 300,000 of them of all ages, nationalities and brand affiliations) the differing tone of brand association is astounding.
The Apple Brand
The Apple brand is openly loved, maybe even adored with strong levels of association to words like ‘cool’ ‘awesome’ and even ‘love’. Plenty of brands want to be loved, but very few can lay claim to that strongest of positive associations. The words ‘design’, ‘creative’ and ‘innovation’ are also strongly associated with the Apple brand. When pooled with associations of ‘quality’, ‘sleek’, ‘simple’ and ‘style’ it is easy to see why Apple commands such high levels of brand loyalty and continues to create enourmous anticipation for each new product launch.
The Microsoft Brand
On the other hand I could barely believe my eyes when tracking the negative tone of much of the strongest brand association for Microsoft. Few successful brands include such high levels of negative association including; ‘evil’, ‘monopoly’, ‘crap’, ‘shit’ and that classic of poor customer feedback – ‘sucks’. Whilst at a commercial level, Microsoft’s strategic, commercial partnerships have built incredibly high levels of product use, it appears that the brand has seriously failed to translate that product use into positive brand association and brand loyalty.
If you’d like some help to define the meaning for your brand and create your communications in order to create a consistent association with these layers of meaning in the minds of their customers, why not drop us a line?