Is Microsoft the new “it” brand?
Posted by Stacey Pilcher
In 2014, Microsoft Windows ranked as the #1 most up-to-date brand according to the Y&R Brand Asset Valuator.
Microsoft climbed to the number 3 spot in Millward-Brown’s 2015 annual brand review.
Microsoft is again one of the world’s most valuable brands in 2015, according to Forbes.
Are the stars aligned, or is a meteor rapidly approaching with Windows 10?
Have you ever heard of the “Hierarchy of Effects”, a model developed by two marketing researchers? It proposes that consumer attitudes are a precursor to consumer actions, which is why developing a strong brand is so important.
There are six steps in the model (awareness, knowledge, liking, preference, conviction, and purchase) that are related to three stages of consumer behavior (cognitive-thinking, affective-feeling, and conative-behavior) In other words, first tap into the emotions of consumers, then you can really affect behaviors.
What I find fascinating in long-standing brands, is that brand equity shifts as offerings change and consumer attitudes react. The question then is how resilient is the brand? According to the Brand Asset Valuator (BAV), a brand measurement tool, Microsoft is immortal. “A brand that has always held a leadership position in our culture, being seen by consumers as trustworthy, visionary and original.” So even though it has faced some challenges in the past, right now it seems that people are feeling good about Microsoft.
The Brand Asset Valuator was developed by Young and Rubicam. For more than 20 years, Y&R has collected data from over 51 countries and 1 million consumers. It is based on 4 key brand measurement pillars.
- Differentiation. This examines how the brand captures the minds of consumers and relates to brand pricing power, loyalty and cultural currency.
- Relevance. Measures how meaningful the brand is in the lives of people. According to the BAV it is the cost-of-entry to brand consideration.
- Esteem. Captures how a brand lives up to its promise. Those held in high esteem are more likely to see repeat usage.
- Knowledge. Measures how well people understand the brand.
When analyzing brands the BAV combines differentiation and relevance to determine brand strength and esteem and knowledge to determine brand stature. The brands that perform the best have both strength and stature.
The boost for Microsoft started when the new CEO came on board in early 2014. Satya Nadella said, “We want to move from people needing Windows, to choosing Windows, to loving Windows.” It will be interesting to see if there is lasting “love” for Windows 10. Only time will tell.
For me, I’ll wait to upload Windows 10 until it is fully vetted by others. In my opinion, Microsoft is still unsteady on a few of the BAV’s pillars.
To learn more about brand measurement follow me on twitter @pilcheretal, connect on LinkedIn or sign up for email updates.
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