Apple leads brand perception in Japan ahead of Microsoft and Google

Akihabara, also known as electric town, could see a surge in the availability of Apple products.

Apple has edged out Microsoft and Google by placing first in a brand perception survey for the first time in Japan, according to a survey.

Nikkei Research, a company who aims to “collect and compile high quality data”, found that Japanese retailers had a "greater willingness” to recommend Apple products. The survey also revealed the brand ranked highly in “originality" and "premium" quality, which could suggest consumers in the East Asian nation are willing to pay top dollar for the latest gadgets. 

It comes as good news ahead of the release of the iPhone 5s and 5c, which Apple hopes will strengthen its relationship with Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo.

While Microsoft has fallen two spots into third place, Google is making substantial progress as they jump to fifth spot, from eighth. The second spot was awarded to Yamato Transport, a delivery service provider. Apple's top spot could be a symbolic move for the company, in a country that is considered by many as the technology capital in the world.

Apple's superior brand perception could see the beginning of its plan to make a significant impact in the smartphone sector in Asia, as it tries to make a breakthrough into the multi-million dollar Chinese market. Perhaps the new found popularity in Japan can assure shareholders that the company can regain momentum, following recent declines in its share price.

Source: CNET | ImageWeb-Japan

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20 Comments

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Brand perception and overall consumer confidence in Microsoft have taken a serious nosedive since the release of windows 8.

I'd say it took a serious dive after Vista and has been slowly recovering. Windows 8 is no disaster by itself. Windows 8.1 fixes most of the issues people have with it.

iPhone is the strongest of all phone brands. That is a result of good marketing.
A lot of people I hear want iPhones, have no technical reasons for wanting one. They generally have no clue about what OS it runs. Few of them ever fully use it.
They just want it because it as a status symbol.

I am guessing the same is the case in Japan.

As an Android user, it does burn, the way so many things are iPhone and iPad centric, to the point of being blissfully unaware that competition exists, but one must admire the marketing savvy involved in creating such a brand image.

Yep, Apple have the best marketing machine of any company, it's unsurpassed. It's so good and so potent in fact that some people will go to extreme lengths to defend the sometimes indefensible. Map-gate, Antenna-gate, it doesn't matter, the underlying perception is one of unparallelled genius and all detractors "just don't get it."

Of course, perception is one thing, sales is quite another and Samsung, among others, have that argument welll and truly sewn up.

None of those "gates" changes the fact that iOS has always been rock-solid reliable, buttery smooth UI and no malware in the app store. Combine that with the most beautiful industrial design and you have a winner.

Are people attracted to the phone or the marketing part? It's all about feeling, so it's most likely the marketing that they are attracted too. Comes to show us all how good marketing manipulates our way of life. So, if we all want to think different then we should be more conscious about the manipulative aspects of advertising. :-)

Som said,
is that really what the new ios looks like? it's like a kids toy
I guess it goes both ways. I've heard many people say that Windows Phones 8 looks like a kids OS. Thank goodness we have all choices.

Does this actually mean anything? So they think Apple is known “originality" and "premium" quality. Apple defiantly led the way in terms of making the smart phone popular and I would say the quality of their phones do seem to be good, but that doesn't mean if I was in the market to buy one I would look at them at first choice as in the end of the day it will inevitably come down to price. With Premium Quality comes Premium prices so its an expectation.

I would say BMW, Audi, Mercedes would "lead" brand perceptions in the same two area's but but that doesn't stop Fords etc still topping selling lists.

skiver said,
Does this actually mean anything...

I would say BMW, Audi, Mercedes would "lead" brand perceptions in the same two area's but but that doesn't stop Fords etc still topping selling lists.

Spot on. When a product type becomes commoditized, many people may still aspire to certain brands, but a significant proportion, including many aspirers, will choose to purchase based on other factors. "Name a high-end xxx?" "Which make xxx do you have in your shopping-bag/pocket/garage/kitchen?". 2 separate questions. Smart phones are really only a conduit to a rich online experience whilst mobile.

Spicoli said,
So basically people in Japan are as easily duped by marketing as the US.

They just don't have whiners like you on Japanese forums

Spicoli said,
Having to resort to a personal attack is an instant and automatic failure of the argument.

As opposed to your regular meaningless comments?

LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT HOW MANY JIGABYTEZ MY PROCESSOR HAZ!

Meanwhile, nobody cares about half the crap people argue on the forums about. They just want a nice looking phone that works, without some techie jumping down their throat about how stupid they are for not wanting to side-install applications or whatever...

Has nothing to do with being 'duped'. The only ones getting duped are people who listen to others in how they should spend their money only to realize it's not what they wanted. (I am one of those people. Th-Thanks Neowin...)