This is fascinating. I just saw news from Nikkei that Apple is now the number one consumer brand–for the first time–in Japan as picked by Japanese consumers. Last year Apple ranked number 11 and jumped to first place in one year. Most likely led by the iPhone and iPad. What is most interesting is that Sony is not on the top 10 list of companies in Japan. Sony has throughout history been a strong brand in Japan that Japanese consumers have been loyal to. It appears that Sony has more of an uphill climb in general than I thought.
It is also interesting to note that Apple has overtaken Google, the previous number one ranked brand in Japan.
This data from Nikkei underscores the column I wrote this morning on Apple turning technology in art. The way Apple designs objects of desire will fair especially well in parts of Asia like China and Japan due to those customers leading with emotion and status as key parts of the decision making process.
This is not something that has happened overnight. Apple has been investing in Japan since early on with the iPod. Their work to gain such immense brand trust is the result of much investment in that region. Something that is key to any global branding strategy.
The fact that Apple is not only a immensely strong brand in the US, where Apple is based, but also in other global regions is just another cause for worry from Apple competitors.