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Apple ranks as the top technology brand among women in the US, who were asked which tech brand or company they admired most, according to a study from Solutions Research Group (SRG). Apple was followed by Sony, Microsoft, Dell and Hewlett-Packard (HP).

The open-ended (unaided) question about most-admired brands is part of SRG’s Women & Digital Life study, which explores a wide range of digital behaviors among women. Without being prompted, 20% of respondents mentioned Apple, 14% mentioned Sony, 10% mentioned Microsoft, 10% cited Dell and 6% mentioned HP.

Other brands mentioned in the top 20:

  • Verizon
  • Google
  • LG
  • Nintendo
  • Samsung
  • Gateway
  • AT&T
  • Panasonic
  • GE
  • IBM
  • BlackBerry
  • Comcast

Reasons for Choices

When asked for more specifics about their top choices, women who picked Apple as #1 mentioned company’s record of innovation and the ease of use of its products, especially the iPod.

Survey respondents most frequently associated Sony with quality and reliability over a long period of time, as well as a diverse product line-up.

Among those mentioning Microsoft as a top company, many noted their personal affinity for Bill Gates and, in particular, his philanthropic activities. The longevity and staying power of the company also played a role in the company’s high rankings, SRG said.

Differences Among Subgroups
The research found that Apple’s dominance is most pronounced among younger women ages 12-24 by a two-to-one margin over Sony, while Sony and Apple are head-to-head to head among women ages 25-39. For women ages 40+, Apple and Microsoft are tied for the top spot.

Differences in brand preferences are also apparent across ethnic groups, SRG found. Sony took the top spot among African-American women while Apple was the top ‘top-of-mind’ tech brand by a small margin among Hispanic Americans. Research also revealed that the Sony PlayStation franchise is very strong among African-American women and contributed to the win over Apple.

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Digital Purchasing Behavior

The study also found that one-in-three, or approximately 45 million US women, bought a digital lifestyle product in the last six months. Specific findings among various subgroups of women:

  • Among moms, 44% bought a digital product in the last six months.
  • Among women ages 25-39, 42% bought a digital product.
  • Wal-Mart and Best Buy are the top two destinations for purchases accounting for over 60% of women’s purchases.
  • Target and Apple store are among the top five retailers for women.

“As women close the gender-gap in technology use, being top-of-mind is more important than before,” said Donna Hall, co-director of the Women & Digital Life study. “Teens and young women influence their parents’ choices while moms make choices for themselves and their children, suggesting strong potential for additional Apple products in the home.”

About the survey: SRG’s Women & Digital Life is an independent syndicated study. The fieldwork for the study was completed in December 2008 among a representative sample of 2,000 online American female consumers ages 12+. Where applicable, the results were compared with a similar study undertaken by SRG in 2007 among 1,508 women, plus focus groups conducted over a two-year period.

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