Thursday, Sep 09, 2021, 15:31 Economy

"A Life Without Apple Unimaginable" – Study Shows Effects of Pandemic On Markets & Customers

One year ago the market researcher MBLM ran a study to determine how COVID was affecting the relationship between users and manufacturers or products and there were some large changes. The changes were due to several factors, be they lockdowns and curfews affecting how individuals socialize, or the switch to home office undergone by many companies. Now, there's a new edition that MBLM is calling the "Brand Intimacy COVID Update".

Apple Grows Considerably
As usual, Apple is still at the head of the pack. Over the last 18 months, users' relationships with the company intensified significantly. 58% of those surveyed indicated that they wouldn't be able to "live" without their Apple products. Apple has always done well in this category (in 2019 the value was a still considerable 33% instead of 58%), however, the pandemic has led to an increase in reliance on technology. 29% of those surveyed wouldn't hesitate to pay a 20% premium for software or hardware from Apple.



Amazon Takes 2nd Place
A good little way behind Apple in the results comes Amazon. Apple has an index worth of 73.3 according to the study, Amazon – 63.3. However, online shopping has also become increasingly important during the pandemic, especially during the times when stores were forced to remain closed. In the category, "Could you live without this brand?", 52% of those surveyed indicated that they could not and 16% would accept paying a surcharge in order to continue using the Amazon service.

Disney Places 3rd
There's a change to 3rd place, with Google having taken a hit last year and no longer standing on the victor's podium – although the search-engine giant does still maintain a place within the top 10. In the meantime, Disney has made some progress in its climb towards the top and now finds itself directly below Apple and Amazon. 36% of those surveyed couldn't imagine a life without the company and 26% would be ready to pay a surcharge for access to the company's content and products. Just one year ago, Disney only managed 7th place in these rankings – however, the enormous success of Disney+ has led to a stronger connection with customers. YouTube keeps its place in 5th, whereas Netflix has now left the top ten and Harley-Davidson has made a new entry into the top ten strongest brands.

There are significant differences between preferences amongst men and women in the survey. Only Apple is in the top 5 amongst both groups and amongst women, the Cupertino-based company makes first place. Amongst men, Apple is ranked 3rd, directly behind YouTube and Samsung. 3,000 US consumers were surveyed and thus these numbers aren't necessarily representative of things on an international level. One of MBLM's general conclusions from the study was that the pandemic has led to a stronger connection between customers and brands – in uncertain times the emotional connection to material products increases.

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