The Droid smartphone, which has been described as handsome, masculine and industrial, appears to have made Motorola a hit among men. BrandIndex found Motorola's buzz scores to be on the rise, during a period in which Apple's and BlackBerry's fell.
In a recent measure of "buzz" among men 18 and older, Motorola was on the
rise, while both Apple and BlackBerry fell, according to data from YouGov's
BrandIndex, which interviews 5,000 people each weekday to gauge consumer brand
perception on a day-to-day basis.
The New York Times' David Pogue described as "all masculine, all the time."
BrandIndex scores range from negative 100 to 100, balancing positive
feedback against negative; a score of 0, for example, means negative and
positive feedback were exactly equal. When the question, "Would you recommend
the brand"-in this case Motorola-"to a friend?" was posed to men 18 and older
on Oct. 27, Motorola received a score of 24. By Nov. 9 it was nearly at 31, and
on Nov. 17, it fell slightly to 30.4.
When the same question was asked of Apple, on Nov. 10, it received a score
of 48.1, which by Nov. 19 had fallen to 23.8. Likewise BlackBerry, which
received a score of 25.3 on Nov. 10, was down to a 7.7 on Nov. 19.
Nov. 17 Verizon responded, with a 53-page memorandum that stated in its
introduction: "AT&T sued because Verizon's ads are true and the truth hurts."
"When AT&T's lawsuit was filed, Verizon Wireless definitely took a swoon
in buzz score, but has since recovered well," Drew Kerr, a spokesperson for
BrandIndex told eWEEK.
"Motorola's buzz score was not affected by that lawsuit and has been
moderately moving upward since the end of October," said Kerr. "This is
probably because Verizon Wireless is the subject of the suit and is front and
center with the marketing push."
Regarding brand loyalty, said Kerr, "Motorola travels on the higher plane."
He said that Verizon's "recommend" score-the measure of brand loyalty-had been
slowly dipping over the week of Nov. 15, though this, he said, "may indicate
troubles with Verizon's new early termination fees for smartphones, which went
from $175 to $350!"
Verizon sold 250,000 Motorola Droids during the smartphone's first week out,
and the increase in Motorola's buzz is a fortuitous one for the carrier-particularly
in the current quarter.
"With the fourth-quarter key buying season upon us, the carriers are
positioning for their most important selling season of the year-both in terms
of device lineup and perceptions on network quality and coverage," Susan Welsh
de Grimaldo, an analyst with Strategy Analytics, told eWEEK.
"With T-Mobile USA now committed to upgrading its network to 21M-bps
theoretical peak download speeds on a fairly broad nationwide level by
mid-2010, Verizon Wireless is poised to begin in earnest the deployments of its
LTE network, and Sprint, Clearwire and its cable partners launching more
markets with WiMAX, AT&T is finding itself in a position where it needs to
defend (and promote) its network strengths-particularly as Verizon Wireless has
been playing on its strengths of coverage in its ads and now has the Droid in
market to compete more directly with the iPhone," Welsh de Grimaldo explained.
The key for Motorola now will be to maintain that buzz-a very fluctuating
factor, according to BrandIndex-for another week, when the doors officially fly
open on the holiday shopping season.
Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.