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The latest research news: October/November

This month, we reveal which brands are the world's most valuable, which products are the most popular for ‘showrooming' and discover who's in the ‘global enraged' group.    

Young men prefer mobile to TV
Young men are so attached to their mobiles that they would prefer to give up television for a year than their handsets, according to a new study by DDB Worldwide Communications Group. Their Life Style Study looked at men's attitudes to the internet, social media and technology, and found that 54% of 18-34 year olds would rather go a year without watching TV than be without their phone, compared to 38% of the 35-49 age group. Looking at online behaviour, a third of 18-34 year olds said that most of their social interactions occur online, and 36% reported that social networks had greatly improved their lives.

Coke and Apple top brand charts
Coca-Cola remains the world's most valuable brand, but is facing an increasingly strong challenge from Apple. A study by the consultancy Interbrand posted an 8% uptick in value for the soft drink to $77.8bn, and was praised for combining a huge reach with innovative marketing and engaging shoppers. Meanwhile, Apple enjoyed an increase of 129%, from $33.5bn to $76.6bn, which was fuelled by the success of the iPhone and iPad, with the clear "set of values" and "human touch" defining its activity. Elsewhere, IBM fell from second to third, and Google took fourth place, up by 26% to $69.7bn.

Apple takes ‘most powerful' brand crown
Forbes has stated that Apple, Microsoft and Coca-Cola are the "most powerful" US brands in terms of global influence. The business title partnered with Penn Schoen Berland and Landor Associates to value 130 American brands, and priced Apple at $87.1bn. More broadly, the analysis revealed that Apple's brand value had leapt by 52% in the last two years, even though its annual adspend - pegged at $933m - was by some distance the lowest in the top five.

‘Enraged' consumers require response
Brand owners must respond to the growing number of consumers around the world who are "enraged" with the strategies and influence of major corporations, a study has argued. As part of its ongoing Global MONITOR research, the global strategic insight and innovation consultancy The Futures Company polled 28,000 adults in 21 markets and found that 86% thought big business maximised profits at the expense of customers and communities. They also found that 85% thought that large corporations exerted a greater level of influence on government than citizens did. Around 50% of contributors felt "a lot" of anger about these issues, a group the study described as the ‘global enraged'.

Brands struggle with mobile
A study has found that few major advertisers believe they are "very advanced" when it comes to leveraging the opportunities provided by mobile devices to engage consumers. Trade body The CMO Council polled 250 global marketers and found that just 8% agreed their firm already had "very advanced" capabilities with regard to mobile. A further 30% remained at the strategic evaluation stage, while 26% were currently developing apps. For 55% of participants, the fact that the mobile was "always on and accessible" was its main benefit.

UK ecommerce sites failing shoppers
A report has revealed that more than half the UK's top online retailers are in danger of contravening certain legal requirements relating to their customers. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) asked the research firm BDRC Continental to ‘sweep' 156 major ecommerce sites, including pure-plays and those run by bricks and mortar players. As a result, the OFT wrote to 62 leading vendors, having found they may not by "fully complying" with consumer protection law and could face legal action if necessary amendments were not made. One key issue concerned adding fees to the initial price shown.

Brands failing to promote green schemes
Many major brand owners are failing to adequately communicate the progress they have made in the area of sustainability, a study has revealed. Consultancy Brandlogic and insights group CRD Analytics assessed 100 large corporations, tracking 141 metrics related to sustainability, governance and social responsibility. When rating the actual eco-friendly schemes run by these companies, average scores rose from 42.4 points in 2011 to 51.7 points in 2012. However, the mean returns for the same organisations fell from 47.2 points to 44.4 points on an annual basis.

‘Showrooming' grows in US
Increasing numbers of US consumers are engaging in ‘showrooming', or comparing prices on a mobile device while in stores. The deals website CouponCabin and polling firm Harris Interactive surveyed 2,361 adults and fond that 43% of people owning a smartphone or tablet participated in this activity. By category, the uptake of showrooming was highest when considering home electronics, at 50%, while entertainment products such as books, DVDs and CDs logged 40%. Overall, a 97% majority had ultimately bought an item researched in this way at a lower price than was available in stores.

Big brands develop approach to mobile
Brand owners such as Gap, Coca-Cola, GameStop and Nissan are all taking an increasingly integrated approach to mobile, reflecting the diverse consumer needs these devices now serve. Gap recently joined the Merchant Customer Exchange, a body seeking to create a new generation of mobile commerce services that already boasts members such as Sears, Target and Walmart. "We see mobile as the future of our business," said Tricia Nichols, global lead, consumer engagement, media strategy and brand partnerships at Gap. "It's a tool of convergence that not only helps us bring bricks and mortar and ecommerce closer together, it becomes a tool to connect consumers with our brand and stores in a deeper way, adding value to the Gap experience."

29thOct 2012


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