Verizon Wireless continues to lead consumer satisfaction in Harris Interactive's polling, followed by AT&T.
As mobile networks engage in a very public ad campaign war, carrier
Verizon Wireless was named the mobile networks brand of the year among
consumers, according to the 2011 Harris Poll EquiTrend study. In the
mobile networks category, Verizon was highest ranked for the
second year running over archrival AT&T. Harris Interactive
announced its technology brands of the year in four other major
categories: mobile phones (Motorola), consumer electronics (Sony),
computer hardware (HP) and gaming (Nintendo). Overall, awards were
given in each of 46 different categories.
"Since the change in the portability of phone numbers, switching
mobile phones and mobile networks is significantly easier," said Jeni
Lee Chapman, executive vice president of brand and communications
consulting with Harris Interactive. "Verizon's strong brand equity can
have a large impact when consumers have a choice."
Motorola, buoyed by "strong familiarity" and a "significant
improvement" over last year, led the mobile phones category, followed
by HTC and Sony Ericsson. Nokia ranked fourth and iPhone manufacturer
Apple ranked just above industry average, is fifth. Motorola offers
both smart and feature phones, with the latter remaining a popular
choice among consumers.
"Apple may have the market cornered on technology enthusiasts, but
Motorola satisfies a much wider audience," Chapman said. "There is
still a large audience of consumers that aren't interested in a
smartphone running their life, and Apple doesn't have a product to meet
Sony continued to be the market leader in consumer electronics,
closely followed by Samsung, Panasonic and LG, who have all gained
ground, narrowing the gap in brand equity. The report noted, in
particular, Samsung and LG's emergence and maturation in the space is
reflected in its increased brand equity. Legacy brand computer hardware
brand HP ranked highest in the computer category, while Apple placed
second and Dell placed third. In the highly competitive gaming
category, Nintendo ranked highest, followed by competitors Sony and
The scores were based on polling of just more than 25,000 U.S. consumers
ages 15 and over between Jan. 11 through Jan. 27, 2011, with a
total of 1,273 brands rated in 53 separate categories. Each respondent
was asked to rate a total of 60 randomly selected brands and each brand
received approximately 1,000 ratings. Data was weighted to be
representative of the entire U.S. population of consumers ages 15 and
over on the basis of age, sex, education, race/ethnicity, region, and
income, and data from respondents ages 18 and over was also weighted
for their propensity to be online.
The EquiTrend study evaluates measures including: equity, consumer
connection, commitment, brand behavior, brand advocacy, and trust. The
keystone to the program is equity, which provides an understanding of a
brand's overall strength and is determined by a calculation of
familiarity, quality and purchase consideration.
Despite the leading rank of Verizon Wireless and the relatively
strong rating of Apple's iPhone, in February, Consumer Reports said it
couldn't recommend the Verizon iPhone 4. The organization had its
testers cover the gap in the lower-left portion of the iPhone 4's
exterior antenna rim with their bare finger, which apparently caused a
decline in performance. In areas of low signal strength,
finger-blocking the antenna gap led to a dropped
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.