High participation and brand love
The consumer technology sector is the poster child of the Participation Brand era. Driven by the likes of Apple and Google, the sector leads the study on a host of measures, from overall Participation levels itself to brand measures including excitement and love.
The correlation between participation and performance is strongest in this sector. The best performing brands against the pillars of Participation also elicit the highest levels of brand love amongst consumers. The overall Index score is also more closely linked to both first choice consideration and a willingness to pay a premium than in any other sector.
So what’s driving this? Innovation is of course a major factor, but not the full story. To drive soft measures like brand love, the brand must be seen as a leader who stays ahead of the compeition and feels ‘hot right now’ in popular culture. But to command a price premium versus its competition requires more depth and substance. Consumers will only pay more for the technology brands with a palpable sense of purpose. Brands they feel stands for something worth believing in and those who are committed to improving the lives of their users.
In the Participation Brand Index, scale and heritage count for little. Brands like GoPro who have captured the zeitgeist and mobilised their users outperform brands like Philips despite the latter’s years of innovation pedigree. Brands like Canon trump the likes of LG through the way they fuel people’s passions. Consumers want to know “what will you unlock for me now” and “where will you take me next”.