In the IT services sector, hardware vendors, systems integrators and consultancy firms are all vying for 'top of mind' status in their own industries. A new study by IDC determines which firms come to mind for various critical attributes across a range of industry sectors...
The study, The Value of Brand: Market Perception of Leading IT Services Firms was undertaken to determine which IT services firms have the strongest brand perception as well as which services attributes are most highly valued by customers. The study, which surveyed 240 respondents from US based companies, also examines whether the brand perception of specific vendors is stronger in particular solution services areas, or indeed among large vs. small companies.
Branding is key
According to IDC's research, brand perception is the key to gaining market share in the services industry. A good brand image can increase customer mind share, communicate a firm's values to customers, build confidence, lead to requests for proposals, and potentially shorten the sales cycle, ultimately increasing revenue. Those services firms with strong brand perception have an opportunity to use their lead in mind share to gain market share.
"The past few years have witnessed tremendous changes within the IT services industry, in part fuelled by numerous mergers, acquisitions, and spin-offs," said Stephanie Torto, manager of IDC's Brand Perception study. "As a result, many of the leading IT services firms have assumed new brand identities and are vying for customer mind share."
As competition within the services industry continues to intensify and name changes occur, those firms that are able to understand how they are perceived relative to customer values - and can address that gap - will be successful in enhancing their brand perception, and will eventually gain market share.
IDC's new study reveals some interesting key findings:
- Familiarity does lead to a higher brand perception. Those firms that rated highest in familiarity also tended to rate highest in brand perception.
- Different industries have different preferences and values relative to the attributes they view as most important in choosing and in working with different kinds of IT services firms. IT services firms need to be aware of these differences and consider them when selling and working in specific industries.
- The market perceives hardware vendors' services organisations favourably but sees these organisations as possessing different strengths than systems integrators and consulting firms. The perception of, and preferences for, different types of firms differs markedly by vertical industry.
The study provides an analysis of the brand awareness and customer perception of the top 17 services firms within five vertical industries: banking and securities, energy, communications, consumer goods, and life sciences. The study takes the form of five industry-specific studies and one overview report, also detailing how those industries perceive services firms for projects such as CRM, supply chain, and ERM.