The second annual Brand Keys' Inc., (brandkeys.com) survey of consumer perceptions of innovative tech brands, conducted by the New York-based brand loyalty and engagement research consultancy, found consumers' identification with brands and innovation has broadened, this year adding seven brands including: SoundCloud, Square, and Slack to the list of innovation leaders for the first time since the survey has been conducted.
“While it may be hard to believe, there was a time when consumers actually feared of technological innovation,” noted Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys founder and president. “Consumers equated innovation and technology with a greater likelihood of something to go wrong, but clearly not anymore. The 21st century may not have delivered flying cars, but it is clearly meeting its' potential in terms of providing products and services that better meet consumers' expectations when it comes to technology.”
This year 4,400 consumers were asked to name companies and brands that were highest on their lists of technological innovators, with the following top 20 results:
“The consumer's expectation for constant innovation, and the expansion of technological innovation, is crossing over B2C and B2B lines more and more. This accounts for the addition of the seven new brands on this year's list,” said Passikoff. “Each new brand stands for something that advances the category in which they compete, with a lot of consumer-to-business crossover.” Those seven brands include:
HBO: Their expansion of HBO GO and willingness to cross platforms to deliver ever more entertainment.
SoundCloud: Which has become the world's largest audio platform.
Kickstarter: A place where global creativity and innovation has a chance to be cultivated and launched.
Square: Giving companies the ability to take care of business anywhere.
Slack: The collaborative messaging platform for aggregating all business needs.
Tesla: The electric brand that is making an all-electric car a reality.
Line: A mobile messaging app with a personality that appeals to consumers' emotional side of communication.
“Last year's list included more 'traditional' brands,” noted Passikoff. “And, of course, you have the usual suspects - Apple, Samsung, Google, and Amazon -ranking high, but clearly consumers have expanded their horizons when it come to looking for new technologies and innovation.”
Last year's 2014 top-20 included the following:
"It's clear that consumer attitudes toward innovation have changed dramatically over the past 15 years,” noted Passikoff. “Consumers have come to see innovation and change as an opportunity - not a threat.” And, just like Steve Jobs foretold, innovation truly does distinguish between a leader and a follower.”