Branding and People’s Desires to Avoid It
With yesterday being the Microsoft Zune official release and the fact that people are adamant about getting a Zune over all other such products out there, I’ve begun questioning how and why people choose to support certain brands.
From recent Hitwise data, Google accounts for over 60% of search. Why doesn’t Google have more than 60% or closer to 70% or even 100%? Is it because the other approximately 40% believe that their search engine of choice is superior (which could very well be the case)? Do they hate the Google ads and not want to see them? Do the others simply not know about Google? Do they dislike monopolies? Or do these individuals in the minority simply not want to support the Google brand on principle?
Consider the hype surrounded by Microsoft (which I noticed was most prevalent in the Windows 98 era). Everyone chanted “Microsoft sucks,” though everyone continued buying Microsoft products and we saw no shortage or significant shifts that evidenced a market shift to something “superior.” Why is this so? Microsoft is what was easiest for everyone. Windows was what worked. Windows had more compatible applications, whereas other competing operating systems (MacOS, Linux) simply did not. Microsoft was the winning brand, but we still saw people, albeit in small numbers, change course.
There are plenty of new Zune owners who waited this out simply because they refused to stand for iPods, which is the dominant player in the portable media market. Maybe they just don’t want to support a company with market domination. Maybe they think the iPods suck. Maybe they don’t want to use iTunes with their iPods (Anapod Explorer, anyone? It’s a great application, and for $30 extra with lifetime upgrades, it’s truly a steal). Whatever the reason, these individuals refused to be conventional, instead hoping for something that they hope works better (if that’s the real reason).
It obviously follows that some people will do what it takes to avoid the mainstream, but from an advertisement perspective, why? What do you need to do to sway that minority to use your product? Or on the other side of the coin, what do you need to offer your audience that will ensure that they buy your product despite the larger competition?
Google wants to dominate. Why stop at 60%? Yahoo wants to kick Google out of first place. What can it do to sway the majority of users to go with the lower brand? (Do they just need to make more people hate Google?)
Ultimately, is it the brand that these individuals are avoiding, or is it something else?