Market Strategies Releases Exclusive Price Point Analysis
It’s September, which means the unofficial end of summer, football, a new school year…and a new iPhone release! But this year—the 10th anniversary of the iPhone—Apple is breaking the mold. Why?
As contracts have become virtually extinct, consumers are keeping their phones longer, creating a lengthier upgrade cycle. Apple needs to provide a more compelling reason to buy their product than simply, “it’s that time of year again.”
Apple has been criticized by some as losing its innovation edge by offering only minimal advancements. This new iPhone X model not only promises to create a new “premium” smartphone but also breaks up Apple’s typical two-year full upgrade cycle.
So, what is new and different about this phone that makes it so special?
It’s midsummer, the season of sticky-sweet treats like popsicles and saltwater taffy. Man, these treats are good—and fun, even reminding us of childhood summers and beachy weekends away. But their appeal—like summer’s sunny skies and lightening bugs—is ephemeral. When brands strive for “stickiness,” they’re not going for this quickly-fading sugar buzz. They’re striving to capture the attention and loyalty of consumers, ultimately to become a long-term favored brand. And this long-term loyalty is really tough to achieve these days. In a time when we’re seeing increasingly fickle consumers choosing from countless options with a finite amount of time to give—how does a brand become sticky?
Amazon recently announced that its Amazon Lending service surpassed $1billion in small business loans over the past 12 months.
Wait, Amazon? Small business loans? Amazon isn’t a bank, but that doesn’t seem to matter. And that got me thinking, could Amazon be a bank for consumers, too?
Most likely, yes. Trust is the foundation of any relationship, especially when money is involved. Market Strategies’ financial services market research reveals that half of consumers would trust a company that does not specialize in banking to provide their banking. Of those, 26% would trust Amazon, 22% would trust Apple, 21% would trust Google and a whopping 63% would trust PayPal. Not surprisingly, younger consumers (58% of those 18-34) are even more likely to trust a non-bank to provide their banking.
How Customer Service is Being Transformed by the Growth of Mobile Messaging
The world watched in astonishment a few weeks ago as a video surfaced of a United Airlines passenger being physically dragged from a plane after he refused to give up his seat on an over-booked flight. The airline’s initial response was almost as catastrophic a PR disaster as the actual event, going into detail on the policies and procedures, but showing none of the human compassion that all of us would expect from a brand that purports to care about its customers.
This past week, Hulu officially released the beta version of its live TV streaming product. It’s real, and it’s competitive. It enters the fray of many live TV streaming products that have either launched or have been announced, including Sony Playstation Vue, AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Dish’s Sling TV, Xfinity Instant TV, and YouTube TV. Each of these products offers compelling features at price points lower than traditional Pay TV (satellite, telcos such as Verizon, and cable companies such as Charter Spectrum)—with some like AT&T, Comcast and Dish even cannibalizing their own Pay TV revenues with live TV streaming products.
For these new forms of video offerings to successfully gain customer buy-in and subsequent profitability, they can’t offer everything at rock-bottom prices, at least not forever. Programming costs remain high, even when leveraged with long-standing agreements, and finding the right niche varies not only by platform, but by provider as well.
Last month, YouTube TV rolled out its “streaming TV” service in five major US cities. Just before that, Comcast and Hulu announced their “streaming TV” services to join an increasingly crowded marketplace with industry heavyweights like AT&T (DirecTV Now), Dish (Sling TV) and Sony (PlayStation Vue). Despite the hype and the big brand names, success isn’t guaranteed for any of these services.
The transition from physical media and digital downloads to streaming music has not been without speedbumps. Artists have been reluctant to give up royalties from sales for the much less lucrative streaming royalties, but the fight seems to be nearing an end. Physical sales are nearly non-existent and the new benchmark of success is number of streams, but that doesn’t mean everyone in the industry is falling in line. Artists like Taylor Swift have been adamant about seeking fair streaming deals and Thom Yorke has pulled his solo albums from streaming altogether, but there is a new kid on the block who is rewriting the monetization playbook in this streaming-first era.
Key Takeaway: Given numerous entrants into the videoconferencing sector from established and emerging technology companies—including the recent introduction of Amazon Chime—the market leader position in this space is up for grabs. We at Market Strategies have a lot of questions about how the sector is growing and transforming. How prevalent is videoconferencing? Which platforms are being used? What do companies need to focus on to make their platform ubiquitous? In this article, we will share our data and insights on the players in this space, including the number one thing a company must do to come out on top.
Videoconferencing technologies have been around for more than a decade, but we have seen them take off with our clients in the past year. We enjoy being able to visually interact with our clients and colleagues so we set out to conduct our own research study to learn more about the experience. While analyzing the results, we were surprised by the introduction of Amazon Chime, which promises “frustration-free online meetings with exceptional audio and video quality.” Why would Amazon enter this market now, with Skype and Hangouts being around for years? Is it insightful or redundant? Will a majority of users asking their colleagues to ‘Skype’ or ‘Hangout’ now ask them to ‘Chime?’
Our data suggests Amazon’s move is insightful. While Skype and Hangouts are certainly popular, there is plenty of room for additional competitors especially since no one seems to have worked out all of the technology bugs. And with a majority of users not wedded to any single platform, Amazon (or another disruptor) has plenty of opportunity to grab market share.
Editor’s Note: This is the first of a three-part series on understanding the streaming video consumer. Be sure to bookmark FreshMR so you don’t miss an issue!
It wasn’t long ago when consumers had three choices for video consumption: free TV (using antennas), paid cable TV, and, if going with cable, whether to add a movie channel like HBO. There was little competition, little innovation and very few choices. What a difference a few years makes!
Those simple days are almost unrecognizable in today’s chaotic, cluttered video world. Sure, consumers can still view local broadcasts over-the-air, but the insatiable appetite for content has dramatically increased our options. Having so many options can be overwhelming to customers but also confusing to the telecommunications and entertainment companies that provide and deliver content.
Market Strategies is often asked to recommend research approaches that guide decisions about marketing and product/brand management. A topic that’s been of keen interest lately is brand health. NPS has been the “go-to” measure for some time, but we were curious to compare it to other brand health measures so we used our quarterly consumer omnibus study as a research sandbox.
Specifically, we fielded various questions and used the results to test the efficacy of brand health approaches that would serve clients across industry sectors well. We surveyed more than 1,100 US consumers regarding brands in the social media space: Facebook, Flickr, Google, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, Vine and YouTube. We then used these data to run multiple brand health analyses, ultimately comparing NPS and several brand health measures and indices at how well they predict our dependent variables: frequent use of the brand and intention to increase use of the brand in the near future.