Brand doesn't matter in the workplace, reckons maker of 'terrorist watch'

By: John McGarvey

Date: 21 November 2011

Broken down car, like unreliable business IT

Does your business IT break down often? (Image: fauxto_digit on Flickr.)

Japanese electronics firm Casio found itself on the wrong end of a news story earlier this year when classified documents released on WikiLeaks linked the company's F-91W digital watch with terrorists.

Never mind that the watch is a popular, affordable model which has been a huge seller for years - apparently US officials still considered it a possible sign of terrorist links.

Perhaps keen to put this association behind it, the firm recently commissioned some research to find out just how big a role brand plays in business IT purchasing decisions.

Does brand matter in the workplace?

We all know that certain brands have more power than others. For the real heavyweights, look not further than Interbrand's list of top brands.

But does that power translate to the workplace? When business owners are considering a new IT purchase, does the pull of the brand make them more likely to opt for Apple over a no-name PC from a local supplier?

According to the YouGov research Casio commissioned, the answer is a definite no. Just 1% of British workers surveyed reckoned brand was an important factor in choosing office technology.

When asked to give the most important factors, respondents rated reliability top and performance second.

It's not just the cool factor

But if the most important factor is reliability, how do you judge that? Aren't some brands perceived as more reliable than others?

Whether you're buying technology, toiletries or t-shirts, brand perception isn't just about the 'cool factor'. It's composed of all sorts of elements, unique to each specific brand.

Some brands are perceived as rock-solid reliable. Others as cheap and disposable. That's just the way it is.

Sure, there are lots of ways for business owners and IT managers to judge reliability. Their own experiences, product reviews and recommendations can all play a part. But survey results be damned: I find it hard to believe than brand isn't part of that mix at all.

Quite simply, some brands are perceived as being more reliable than others. And if you're investing in IT for your business, those perceptions may well influence your decisions.

Do you think some technology brands are more reliable than others? Does that affect your purchasing choices? Leave a comment and let us know.

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