Brand loyalty is weak, or survey methodology?

Joseph Waring
16 Jun 2010

In a market where the top five handset makers account for 75% of global sales, with well over 200 million units sold in the first quarter (the iPhone is not even in that equation), two recent research reports on consumer purchasing decisions seem to defy logic.

Research by WDSGlobal found that 49% of consumers cite price as the most important factor in buying a mobile phone. No surprise there. But the firm claims its research shows only 7% of consumers base their purchase on the phone brand and just 10% chose a phone based on its design.

It went on to explain the phenomena. “A combination of operator subsidies and the homogenization of device design is having a negative impact on the role of the OEM brand.”

Meanwhile, a survey by TNS Global found that “look and feel is the predominant deciding factor” for 32% of consumers in Hong Kong purchasing a mobile device while brand was the single most important for 19% of consumers.

How important?

Those numbers are three times higher than the WDSGlobal percentages. So one is left to ponder the real importance of brand and design in today’s handset market, where the two factors appear to be driving the market buzz and creating excitement for higher-end smartphones.

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