Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, September 2, 2021
Apple dominates with most of the world’s users
Brand footprint is a measure of market penetration that explains much, while also painting a picture about the future. For companies like Apple with a broad product portfolio, a high number reflects the many ways that users can be included within Apple’s brand footprint – with any smartphone, PC, or tablet. Other tech brands are focused on specific category, and so best compared with their direct category competitors.
Apple dominates US device brands
Among online Americans, Apple’s brand footprint has grown slightly over the last two years, rising from 53% to 55%. During that same period, Samsung experienced a slight expansion from 31% to 33%, only to return to the 31% level. Dell, and HP have seen their brand footprint contract, each dropping by a full five percentage points. Some of this reduction has come from pandemic-related chaos: supply issues, channel challenges, shifts for some to work from home, and buyer’s economic struggles. Combined, these factors make buyers more likely to change their habits as well as their loyalties.
To maintain its dominance, Apple needs to continue to provide enough value to its customers to stay within the fold. Apple has sought to walk the tightrope of high integration within its ecosystem while also balancing customer demands for openness and interoperability. There’s another side to captive stickiness. Brands that are seen as being too closed face the other side of a double-edged sword. Once customers move out of ecosystems or brand loyalty, they move quickly and fully. Meanwhile, other brands have mostly focused on competing within a specific product category. They have sought to build their perceived value through other means – availability, pricing, and the richness of their offerings.
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