Mark Bridge writes:
I really don’t want to make a habit of pointing at surveys and laughing – or even scratching my head in the kind of theatrical gesture used by Stan Laurel – but I should imagine there was some wry amusement at Strategy Analytics this week.
They’d been talking to car owners in Europe and the USA about their preferred brand for Bluetooth headsets and speakerphones. In the United States, 45% of respondents said Bose was their preferred brand. Excellent news for Bose. Excellent news for Bose stockists. Except – oh, hang on a moment – Bose doesn’t make Bluetooth headsets or handsfree loudspeakers. Now, I realise this doesn’t invalidate the survey in any way. And it’s worth pointing out I’ve only read the press release, not the $2999 report. But it shows that the results of surveys can be misinterpreted. If respondents had been asked to pick their preferred Bluetooth headset brand from a list including Rolls-Royce, Carlsberg and Google, perhaps we’d have had a different winner.
Are the management of Bose crying into their tweeters? Possibly not. They may be upset that they’ve missed an opportunity. But, then again, they may have investigated the mobile accessory market and deemed it unprofitable. Are bona fide Bluetooth headset manufacturers upset that they’re runners-up to an imaginary product? Not necessarily. Consumers may even be less inclined to complain (and therefore more tolerant of problems) if they’ve not bought their preferred brand.
Incidentally, when it comes to the figures, Strategy Analytics contacted 625 car owners. Bose was the most preferred brand in the US, followed by Motorola and Sony. Sony was favourite in Western Europe; it was also rated as ‘unacceptable’ the least of all brands evaluated. In addition, Nokia and Motorola came out relatively well - unlike Plantronics, Jawbone, BlueAnt and Parrot, which hadn’t been heard of by over half the respondents in the USA. Mind you, as long as people are buying their products when they go shopping, none of these brands are likely to be complaining too much.