US technology research company Forrester Research
has published a report that outlines the levels of trust American households have in a number of key consumer electronic and personal computer brands.
Check out the graph on the right here and you will see that, of the three main gaming brands in the survey, Sony comes out on top, with Nintendo trailing slightly behind. Poor old Microsoft is right down at the bottom of the heap, with American consumers displaying a shockingly low level of trust in the brand and itís potential.
What does this all mean for the future of the three gaming brands though? According to Forresterís study "Microsoft faces big consumer defection risk. One measure of consumers' dissatisfaction with Microsoft is seen in the 5.4 million households that give it a brand trust score of 1 (distrust a lot) or 2 (distrust a bit). Compared with all Microsoft users, these at-risk users have higher income, are much more likely to be male, and are bigger online spenders. These households know they run Microsoft software but would be just as happy to leave it behind - if they could."
Sony, according to the study, is in a much stronger position, but needs to be much more price-conscious than its competitors. The report notes that "Sony's current customers are affluent, young, and more likely than the general population to stick with a brand they like. Sony's prospects have a different profile: poorer than the general population, less brand loyal, and more likely to buy on price. To reach these 9.8 million households, Sony will have to tailor its marketing messages and retail presence to compete on price."
Whilst the survey is of course based on consumerís perceptions of each of these companiesí complete range of products, it does suggest that Microsoft has something of an uphill struggle to really win the looming next-gen console war. Apple, on the other hand, can do no wrong it would seem.