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What’s in a name? – brand loyalty in the tech world

So my laptop has finally called it quits.  After bravely fighting numerous black and blue-screening episodes, a fan that sounds like a tractor and a temperature so high that two days of inactivity couldn’t cool it, we have both accepted that this is truly the end.  The question then became – What next?  Do I commit to another Dell (Inspiron) or go further afield to Samsung, Toshiba or even the lesser-known Lenovo?

Scouring Incredible Connection for a new laptop was beginning to feel like a walk up the aisle.  I don’t make a purchase this big every day and it’s unlikely I’ll have the funds to repeat this process for at least another four of five years.  This is officially the biggest commitment that an unmarried, childless, pedestrian makes in their lives.  The ease with which the sales people make suggestions is not comforting either and after all their persuasive showcasing is said and done the decision is still mine. Armed with only a little information regarding the specs I should be looking for I scanned the walls of laptops, notebooks and tablets.  Once I had narrowed the search criteria down to a few necessary details like Intel Core i5 processing and a pretty colour to match my other gadgets – with all specs being equal, it all came down to preference.  Dell had been good to me but were the Americans missing a trick?

Last year, a survey discussed in the Telegraph.co.uk showed that Apple lead the industry for brand loyalty.  Reasons cited by happy customers included quality, excellent customer service and ‘seamless integration of features and access to content.’  Price was not a deal-breaker.  Innovation was a biggie pushing the price factor quite far down the scale – which makes sense if technology customers generally want a quality product with after-sales care VS a bargain. The ‘harmonious experience’ that Apple has created across devices has created a brand loyalty monster for the competition, with 84 percent of iPhone users saying they would pick an iPhone when they replace their device and only 64 percent of Samsung consumers saying the same. This figure was lower for Blackberry users, of which only 48 percent vouched for a return to RIM’s device.

So are digital consumers as fickle as previously thought?  Innovation, creativity and ease of operation can easily sway consumer purchasing habits and it may just be a coincidence that Apple and Samsung have lead the pack in these areas and so lead the sales.  For my part I went with a Samsung this time. But mostly because it was blue.


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