by November 7, 2009 0 comments

We formally re-inducted the PCQuest Users’ Choice awards last year along with
most wanted IT brands. This year, we move further on this path and have added
many interesting aspects to make the survey more useful for our readers. Now
that the global economy is getting back on the growth path, organizations need
to gear up their respective IT infrastructures again. Choosing the right IT
brands to help you grow is therefore extremely critical. The Users’ Choice
awards will help you in that decision by indicating the strength of each brand
in your industry, and why your peers are choosing them. A successful brand would
be one that has created a good perception about itself in the market. In order
to do that, the brand must first be remembered, i.e. top of mind recall is
critical. Likewise, ownership of a brand and having a clear reason for choosing
the same is also very important. The third most important factor for a brand’s
success is customer loyalty. If your customers are not satisfied with your
brand, then sooner or later they would move to another. Hence strong brand
loyalty is the most important factor for a brand’s success. The last factor,
which stems from brand loyalty is the ability for a brand to create a pull
factor, or have the ability to get selected by customers over other equally
strong brands. The brand that leads over other brands across these four
parameters is the best one. That’s what our Users’ Choice awards are all about
this time.

Another important thing to note here is that the Users’ Choice awards are
about mind share and not market share. That’s why we’ve rated all brands on what
we call the User Perception Index, or UPI. In order for a brand to qualify for
the Users’ Choice club, at least 5% of the total respondents had to currently
own it. The survey methodology has been explained in more detail elsewhere in
this story.

What’s different this time?
There are also a lot of other interesting differences we’ve created to the
survey this time.

Interesting observations
There is one dominant brand in most
categories. In fact, this brand would have the highest votes for everything,
be it top of mind recall, current ownership, brand loyalty, and even
shift-ins from other brands. The top brand is also usually strong across all
eight industry segments that we reached out to, with a few exceptions.

tried to reach out to several sunrise segments this time, including
education, healthcare, communication and media, etc. IT penetration in these
segments is still not as high as evergreen segments like manufacturing, BFSI,
and IT/ITeS. Therefore, some brands didn’t have very good presence in those

When reporting the reason for choosing a particular brand, we only
reported the reasons for the top two brands, as in most cases, the top two
brands dominated the brand perception index amongst our respondents’ user
base. In most brands, there were a major chunk of respondents who were not
sure or had no plans of shifting to another brand from the one they owned
currently. One possible reason for this is that the decision to switch to
another brand in enterprise class products and solutions isn’t taken
instantly. Nevertheless, it does give a window of opportunity to other
brands wanting to enter a particular segment. We introduced managed IT
services as a new section this time because it’s a growing market. This
year, we observed that in each managed IT services category, there are quite
a few brands present.

Analysis by industry vertical
Unlike in the past where we would survey a large number of IT decision
makers across a whole range of different industries, this time, we decided to
focus our energies only on eight industry verticals. These industries were
chosen because they’re the ones that are seen as investing heavily in IT. These
include discreet and process manufacturing, BFSI, IT/ITeS, communication media,
healthcare, private education, and services. Some of these are sunrise
industries, in which the organizations are still grappling with setting up basic
IT infrastructures. Nevertheless, they’re actively considering IT, which makes
it all the more important to understand their perceptions and awareness about
various IT brands.

Interpreting the graphs
You’ll find the following graphs in
the various write-ups:
Users’ Choice Club:
This is the main graph, which indicates the overall
brand perception for each brand. The score for this has been calculated by
making the top scorer as 100 and the others relative to it. This clearly
indicates where each brand stands as compared to the winner.

strength by industry:
This is meant to help you understand the strength
of each brand across the eight industries we covered this time. Once again,
for each industry, the top brand is taken as 100 and the others are scored
relative to it. It’s exactly the same as the main Users’ Choice club graph,
with the difference that it’s been done for each industry. We noticed that
by and large, the winning brand had the strongest brand perception across
most industries.

Reasons for choosing a brand: This time, besides asking which
brand did our respondents own or were planning to buy in the near future, we
also tried to find out the reasons for the same. We asked the respondents to
select from four key reasons for owning/buying a brand: Brand name, product
reliability, initial price, and after sales service/support.

The brand switch matrix: The brand switch matrix tracks two
questions we asked our survey’s respondents: Which brand do you currently
own? And which brand are you likely to buy in the next six months? All
figures in the matrix are percentages of those who currently own the brand
mentioned in the left. The diagonal represents brand loyalty. That is, those
who own a given brand and said that they will buy/recommend the same brand.
On the left is the current ownership; on the right, are future choices. Read
along any row, and you will get the brand shifts for the brand given on the
left. Read along any column, and you will get the shifts to the brand
mentioned on top of that row. The sum at the bottom of the graph represents
total brand-shift that each brand given in the columns above enjoys.

Analysis by reasons of choice
Perceptions about any brand are not formed just like that. There has to be
some sound logic behind them. Is it brand value, or the reliability of products
available under it. Maybe it’s the initial price, or perhaps it’s good after
sales service/support. Whichever it is, we’ve tried to analyze the perceptions
in the minds of CIOs about various IT brands. For brand owners, this will serve
as a good indicator of how their brands are perceived in the minds of their end
customers. For the end customers, it will be useful to determine which brands
are their peers recommending.

Analysis of only enterprise IT brands
Unlike in the past wherein we used to analyze both consumer and enterprise
IT brands, this time, we’ve completely focused our attention around enterprise
IT brands. As the entire issue deals with enterprise products, technologies, and
solutions, we didn’t want to dilute it by adding consumer brands to it. We’ll
analyze consumer brands later. Do send us your suggestions if any, on which
brands categories would you like us to analyze in the future.

The brand switch matrix
The brand switch matrix has always been an important part of all our Users’
Choice surveys, and continues to be present here as well. The matrix clearly
indicates the shift in brand loyalties amongst the customers of various brands.
This time, besides all this, we’ve also determined the total shift out.

Anil Chopra, Anindya Roy, Rahul Sah, Swapnil Arora, and Sandeep Koul


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