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Apple's brand 'buzz' loses steam among young adults in survey

post #1 of 21
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A survey of the highly coveted 18- to 34-year-old young adult demographic found that Apple's brand lost some of its "cool" factor in the month of April.

New daily tracking statistics from YouGov's BrandIndex show a steady erosion of Apple's "buzz score" since it hit a high on March 18. The score, which represents positive or negative feedback, dropped from that high of 80.2 to 66.1 this week.

While the erosion is significant in terms of the company's tracking, it does not mean Apple is in trouble with the young demographic. The BrandIndex scale ranges from -100 to 100 and is compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A score of zero would mean equal positive and negative feedback.

"Apple has definitely lost some steam with the adult 18-34 demo," the report noted, "although they are still doing well."

YouGov said the survey was a more scientific answer to the question asked by columnist Nick Bilton in The New York Times earlier this week: "Has Apple lost its cool?" Bilton suggested that Apple's recent actions in slamming Adobe Flash and suing HTC, along with its tight control of the App Store, have made many view the Cupertino, Calif., company as "bullying."

Bilton also noted, however, that "all the litigation and negative press hasn't hurt Apple's sales. People are lining up to buy iPads and iPhones and swooning over announcements of new products."



The BrandIndex score is updated daily, based on interviews with 5,000 people each weekday from a representative U.S. population sample, amounting to 1.2 million interviews per year. The company said its margin of error is +/- 2 percent.

Those interviewed were asked the question, "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, was it positive or negative?" For comparison, Apple's "buzz" score of 66.1 is higher than Motorola's 57.2, but lower than Google's 82.5.

Last year, YouGov's BrandIndex also closely tracked (1, 2) the public relations battle between Verizon and AT&T, and what effect it had on each wireless carrier.
post #2 of 21
Apple, like any brand that seemingly represents "cool" will not be "cool" forever. Starbucks went through a very similar cycle - it was the "cool" place for this demographic, which then drove acceptance by an older demographic, which then made the brand "not cool" in the eyes of the younger demographic.
post #3 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A survey of the highly coveted 18- to 34-year-old young adult demographic found that Apple's brand lost some of its "cool" factor in the month of April.


Those interviewed were asked the question, "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, was it positive or negative?"

So the question has nothing to do with whether or not the kids like or dislike Apple, but instead, asks what media reports have been heard.

The headline and story are both misleading/wrong.

Without knowing the question, we can't trust AI to report accurately on the answer.
post #4 of 21
Well the April non-farm unemployment data just came out. 9.9% vs 9.7% for March.

Should explain it all right there.
post #5 of 21
Considering this is contained completely within 2010, it means next to nothing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmgregory1 View Post

Apple, like any brand that seemingly represents "cool" will not be "cool" forever. Starbucks went through a very similar cycle - it was the "cool" place for this demographic, which then drove acceptance by an older demographic, which then made the brand "not cool" in the eyes of the younger demographic.

Hopefully that isn't a sign of things to come because starbuck's profits plummeted and they had to close quite a few stores.
post #6 of 21
WOW, they went down after the iPad was launched...OMG, who cares
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

So the question has nothing to do with whether or not the kids like or dislike Apple, but instead, asks what media reports have been heard.

The headline and story are both misleading/wrong.

Without knowing the question, we can't trust AI to report accurately on the answer.

Especially considering the biased media reporting of the Gizmodo and Flash incidents recently. When you have a million bloggers spreading FUD about Apple, it is undoubtedly going to affect people's perception. Of course, once they get the facts and realize that they've been fed a bunch of lies by the media, perceptions return to normal.
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #8 of 21
Wouldn't any company be more likely to lose its "coolness" as it gets bigger and more ubiquitous? I wonder if a high percentage of those young adults instead associate Apple with reliable products that are easy to use and work well. I'd wager the buzz factors for Toyota and Honda are pretty low among the 18-34 demographic; that clearly doesn't mean they're not going to buy a Toyota or Honda when they need a reliable car.
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

So the question has nothing to do with whether or not the kids like or dislike Apple, but instead, asks what media reports have been heard.

The headline and story are both misleading/wrong.

Without knowing the question, we can't trust AI to report accurately on the answer.

Exactly. So the headline is incorrect it should be "More people have heard bad things about Apple recently" no other inference can be drawn. The article is one large non sequitur.

The problem is this sort of thing is picked up by other media and spread as FUD. AI should remove this article.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #10 of 21
It's not a big deal. Just keep the sales going steadily.
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Bilton suggested that Apple's recent actions in slamming Adobe Flash and suing HTC, along with its tight control of the App Store, have made many view the Cupertino, Calif., company as "bullying."

Absolute rubbish. The demographic in question doesn't even know this is going on. Only the tiny subset of the geek squad crowd cares about this and they are already Apple haters.

Quote:
Bilton also noted, however, that "all the litigation and negative press hasn't hurt Apple's sales. People are lining up to buy iPads and iPhones and swooning over announcements of new products."

Which pretty much proves the case doesn't it. I've gotten in way too far for my own good in reading tech coverage. It has tought me that I can't trust the motives of any "journalist" or "analyst". Whether it's fanboy enthusiasm or hateboy trolling there's always a biased motive behind everything. Truth means nothing. It's all about spin and point of view. I now know why Apple has remained so secretive over the years. And the so-called professional journalists, people with actual jouranlism degrees working for major otulets, not putzes like Jason Chen and the editors of AppleInsider, turn out to be no different. If you read it on the internet there's a real good chance it's just bullshit is my motto now.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

Hopefully that isn't a sign of things to come because starbuck's profits plummeted and they had to close quite a few stores.

Didn't Starbucks try to avert it's losses and store closures by expanding its menu items?

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com...kfastMenu.aspx

That's original... The new Starbucks menu, another place to get a biscuit...

Apple on the other hand is more like Chic-Fil-A, they "Didn't Invent the Chicken, Just the Chicken Sandwich". Apple didn't invent the computer, smartphone or tablet, Just the Mac, iPhone and iPad! And now all the Starbuck wannabes are adding their version to the mix because they see the success and think, we have our version, it'll b e successful too!

Plus CEO's are miles apart.

I don't think Apple has anything to worry about in the near term (next few years) or even long term (next five to ten years).

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post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgrad92 View Post

Wouldn't any company be more likely to lose its "coolness" as it gets bigger and more ubiquitous?

Apple did not become bigger and more ubiquitous in the time span during which it lost favor.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Exactly. So the headline is incorrect it should be "More people have heard bad things about Apple recently" no other inference can be drawn. The article is one large non sequitur.

The problem is this sort of thing is picked up by other media and spread as FUD. AI should remove this article.


This sort of thing is also picked up by every Apple bashing forum around. These sites actually scour Apple centric sites looking for gems like this. You see them quoting AppleInsider, MacFixit, MacRumors, etc. all the time. They then add their own negative spin and trumpet the news as proof of their basic bais against Apple. I can guarantee this survey will be held up like a Playboy centerfold by the "Apple is Doomed" crowd.
post #15 of 21
Awesome news, really.
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post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

Considering this is contained completely within 2010, it means next to nothing.



Hopefully that isn't a sign of things to come because starbuck's profits plummeted and they had to close quite a few stores.

I have several friends who manage Starbucks stores. I think Starbucks had two big problems. One, they were actively remodeling their stores to encourage people to get their drinks and leave. They didn't want people hanging out. They took out carpeting so the stores would be loud and removed the soft furniture. Two, at the same time Starbucks was doing this where I live, Mom and Pop coffee shops started springing up all over. They encouraged people to hang out with furniture and free wifi, nice patios, many have DJ's on certain days. And, many of them have BETTER coffee! Most of these places roast their own and just brings shame to starbucks burnt brew.

So, cudos to Starbucks for bring high end coffee to the American market. Shame on them for only focusing on profit and never focusing on just being the BEST at anything. They are the McDonalds of coffee shops for the suburban market who wants a drive through. That is, unless they want some MSG with that and bypass Starbucks for McDonald's coffee to save 25%.
post #17 of 21
As the adage goes, "Don't ask the question if you don't want to hear the answer."

And without seeing the protocol for this survey, the questions are so ambiguous, I can't see how anybody could come to any intelligent conclusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A survey of the highly coveted 18- to 34-year-old young adult demographic found that Apple's brand lost some of its "cool" factor in the month of April.

[Based of the graph, it is obvious that seasonality plays an important part in its determination. Of course the Christmas holiday season would be an important factor and virtually everything after that period loses interestith the exception of the drug companies who sell antihistamines and the 'blue' pill. ]

YouGov said the survey was a more scientific answer to the question asked by columnist Nick Bilton in The New York Times earlier this week: "Has Apple lost its cool?" Bilton suggested that Apple's recent actions in slamming Adobe Flash and suing HTC, along with its tight control of the App Store, have made many view the Cupertino, Calif., company as "bullying."

Bilton also noted, however, that "all the litigation and negative press hasn't hurt Apple's sales. People are lining up to buy iPads and iPhones and swooning over announcements of new products."

The BrandIndex score is updated daily, based on interviews with 5,000 people each weekday from a representative U.S. population sample, amounting to 1.2 million interviews per year. The company said its margin of error is +/- 2 percent.

Those interviewed were asked the question, "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, was it positive or negative?" For comparison, Apple's "buzz" score of 66.1 is higher than Motorola's 57.2, but lower than Google's 82.5.

[With the admitted sales performance and reception to announcements as mentioned above, how could the researchers come to any conclusion re 'loosing cool or bullying? The only thing that they could determine was the percentage of the people who they surveyed heard or didn' t hear anything. ]
post #18 of 21
I hope Apple doesn't care too much about being cool.

I think the age range is a little too large. 18 years is far too wide of a gap.

18-25 - by and large barely no shit. They even know what they don't know.

26-30 - reality starts to sink in about how quickly life goes.

31-36- if you don't "get it" by 36 lord help you.

I'd expect a young liberal to rant about HTC lawsuits, App Store lockdown and Flash from a point of inexperience.

I'd expect a mid 30 something to realize that protecting assets isn't something corporations do it's something that ever person running a household needs to be aware of.

Intelligence and experience don't necessarily come with age, but across age group bands you will shift shifts in thinking that stem from living and gaining experience.
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post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

Apple did not become bigger and more ubiquitous in the time span during which it lost favor.

No, but that doesn't mean it isn't related. If the decline was attributable to some specific set of circumstances, then yes, you could say it could be correlated directly to some narrow time range. But, as a company becomes larger and more ubiquitous, and therefore more common, the 'coolness' factor might decline more gradually and would be difficult to pin point the related reasons to a specific time range.

I think it is a very reasonable hypothesis that this has more to do with the owning of Apple products becoming more common and less unique. In the 90's, there were so few of us, that it was unusual to be an Apple user. So, seeing Apple in the media was considered sort of cool. Sites like AI used to post whenever Apple appeared in a movie or on TV. Two examples would be Seinfeld being sort of hip for having a Mac in is apartment of the character from Friends reading MacWorld.

During Apple's resurgence, it has been cool to own Apple products. Whether because Apple was still sort of perceived to be the underdog or that it was uncommon to own an Apple device. Now that they are massively successful and seeing their products is so commonplace, it is natural that they will no longer be viewed as cool or as hip as they were recently. Doesn't have to mean a drop in sales, as long as they keep producing compelling products.

The 'bully' factor might have some relation as well. While many here tend to write off the opinion of tech people as the 'whining of geeks', it has been a cultural shift that geeks do influence mindshare. The 'geek-factor' is obvious in the success (and failure) in many areas in society. It influences art and entertainment, why is anyone surprised it influences technology trends? The geeks were the first to see MS for the bully they were and that perception spread. If the geeks start to see Apple as a bully, then it is reasonable that the perception will also spread.

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post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atanner View Post

I have several friends who manage Starbucks stores. I think Starbucks had two big problems. One, they were actively remodeling their stores to encourage people to get their drinks and leave. They didn't want people hanging out. They took out carpeting so the stores would be loud and removed the soft furniture. Two, at the same time Starbucks was doing this where I live, Mom and Pop coffee shops started springing up all over. They encouraged people to hang out with furniture and free wifi, nice patios, many have DJ's on certain days. And, many of them have BETTER coffee! Most of these places roast their own and just brings shame to starbucks burnt brew.

So, cudos to Starbucks for bring high end coffee to the American market. Shame on them for only focusing on profit and never focusing on just being the BEST at anything. They are the McDonalds of coffee shops for the suburban market who wants a drive through. That is, unless they want some MSG with that and bypass Starbucks for McDonald's coffee to save 25%.

Actually, there was a fundamental problem with Starbucks (which led to the above). When McDonald's came out with their 'premium coffee', Starbucks went into panic mode and apparently forgot that they're all about the experience. They should have been clever enough to realize that they'd NEVER compete with McDonald's on price or volume and should therefore make the experience EVEN BETTER rather than trying to face McDonald's head to head.

The point is that what you cited were tactics, but the REAL problem at Starbucks was a strategic failure -- forgetting to ask "who are we and why is it that customers buy from us". Most large scale company problems are due to strategic errors, not tactical issues like whether to remove carpet or whether to encourage customers to go through the store faster.

The relevance to this forum is that Apple certainly hasn't forgotten their strategies - and is arguably the only company in the industry with a solid, well-defined strategy (at one time, Dell had one, too, but they've drifted away from the 'low cost by improving operational efficiency" strategy - and their results reflect that.
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post #21 of 21
Anyone else notice that this story was pulled from the front page?

Why?
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