Quick: Which browser do you use? What’s your go-to place for coffee? Which apps do you tap almost on reflex? Over the past two decades, the rapid digitization of our lives dictates how we access information, where we eat, shop, sleep and socialize. But the rise of e-commerce brought with it a plethora of options that are simply overwhelming people today. To wrest control of their lives, Americans are racing to routines — simplifying their choices by sticking with brands and platforms that are most convenient, frictionless and useful.
We observed this in our annual Reputation Quotient survey, which measures the reputations of the 100 most visible companies in America based on the public's top-of-mind awareness of companies that either faltered or excelled.
This year, Amazon remained at No. 1 while technology giants Google and Apple fell precipitously. Google was a top 10 company for a decade but slumped to No. 28 this year, and Apple dropped to No. 29 from its previous position of No. 5. It's likely that Apple and Google's decline was caused, in part, by not having released as many hyped-up products as in past years.
Apple and Google’s declining reputation, in contrast to Amazon, reveals a broader trend of Americans rushing to companies that create the greatest experience and deliver lasting value. Because this study is based on public sentiment (rather than the opinion of elites), this is a view of corporate reputation by the people who actually buy and use their products and services. In Amazon’s case, two-hour delivery of groceries via Prime offered stronger utility than a distant promise of AI and autonomous driving or a $1,000 iPhone.
And when it comes to brand experience, Apple and Google are falling short, according to the public. What was once a novelty for Apple customers to see a new iPhone in store, has become a frustrating experience of crowds. Some have even said Apple stores have become a hell on earth. And while Google earned plenty of acclaim for the Pixel phone, it only sold 3.9 million in 2017, which is less than a week’s worth of iPhone sales.
The differentiation here is that Amazon has simply integrated itself into people’s daily lives and is exceeding expectations in the here and now. Brands that genuinely understand (and care about) the values, attitudes and behaviors of their customers can better design products and services around points of value that cater to consumers in a meaningful way.
Read more here.