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Steve Jobs’s Death Boosts Apple Brand

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Mourning the loss of Steve Jobs made consumers even bigger fans of the company he founded, new data shows. Popular sentiment for Apple shot up 10% since Jobs died on Oct. 5, according to a survey by market research firm YouGov BrandIndex. The company’s “impression score” increased from 42.6 to 47 during that period.

In brand popularity terms, that’s quite a jump, the firm says. To put the numbers in context: The technology product sector’s average score is 27.2, and ranges from -100 to +100, according to YouGov BrandIndex. However, Apple’s most recent climb began from 35.4 on June 1 – just before the release of iCloud – eventually hitting 43.6 on Aug. 16 – 10 days before Jobs’s resignation as CEO.

These warmer, fuzzier feelings for Apple among consumers – many of whom honored Jobs’s passing by purchasing new Apple products – is part of a sentimental journey for customers, Drew Kerr, a spokesman for YouGov BrandIndex, says. “It’s that old feeling: You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone,” he says. Chung Ng, partner with digital ad agency Rokkan, says, “I’d have thought the score would be even higher as during that period Apple received so much coverage.”

Apple may also have benefited from the many profiles of Jobs, and his new biography. Jeff Kagan, technology analyst, is not surprised by the YouGov BrandIndex results. But he too has an emotional connection with the iProducts. “Apple’s technology helped me recover from a stroke in 2004,” he says. “Bit-by-bit I recovered by taking long walks and listening to music and books on my iPod and re-energizing my mind.”

Seth Rabinovitz, a management consultant, says the iPhone helped him in business because, for the first time, he didn’t get stuck on a person’s name. “The iPhone allowed me to sync and manage many thousands of contacts remotely – without running out of phone memory or freezing,” he says. “This gave me a split-second edge to prepare mentally when someone was calling who I hadn’t spoken to in years.”

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  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to quentin.fottrell@dowjones.com or tweet @SMPayDirt.