Apple's brand perception unmoved by public feud with FBI

No harm, no foul, says brand measurement firm

Apple's feud with the U.S. Department of Justice over unlocking a passcode-protected iPhone has not altered the public perception of the company in the US, YouGov BrandIndex, a brand quality measurement firm, said today.

"There has been no meaningful movement among adults 18+," BrandIndex said of its brand metrics for Apple. "The same is true for consumers along party affiliation -- neither Republicans nor Democrats have altered their perception of the brand. And Apple customers also show no significant movement since the story broke."

BrandIndex asked its panel of U.S. consumers the question: "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" The firm subtracts negative feedback from the positive to arrive at a score.

Apple and the FBI first publicly crossed legal swords over the iPhone in mid-February. Since then, Apple's BrandIndex score has remained stable, with scores hovering mid-way between 15 and 20.

The courtroom wrangling has been over an iPhone 5C used by Syed Rizwan Farook, who along with his wife, Tafsheen Malik, killed 14 in San Bernardino, Calif. on Dec. 2, 2015 before they died in a shootout with police. The government has labeled the attack an act of terrorism.

On Feb. 16, a federal magistrate signed an order compelling Apple to assist the FBI in accessing Farook's employer-supplied iPhone. The order required Apple to create a customized version of iOS that would disable several security safeguards, then put the software on the device so authorities can bombard it with passcode guesses.

The FBI has said it believes there is unique information on Farook's iPhone that will help its investigation.

Apple is contesting the order, and has deployed several lines of argument, ranging from a government overreach to dire predictions of the consequences for customers and to American digital security.

Although BrandIndex's score is not strictly a survey, several polls have questioned Americans about the case and Apple's stance. Two weeks ago, the Pew Research Center said that its survey -- conducted Feb. 18-21 with more than 1,000 people -- showed that 51% backed the government and 38% supported Apple. Eleven percent were undecided.

Other polls have said different.

Ben Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies, argued that some surveys had asked the wrong questions, or asked them without nuance. His polling of his firm's own consumer panel, who were first asked a how well they understood the issue, portrayed a pro-Apple landslide of nearly 60%.

Apple has been supported by a wide range of technology companies -- including some of its fiercest rivals, like Google and Microsoft -- privacy organizations, security experts and academics.

The California federal court will hold a hearing March 22 on Apple's objections to the order.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

If creative, media and technology were bedfellows

It’s become crystal clear that if you’re going to be successful in the ever-shifting marketing landscape, you need to be able to change direction, and fast. Fluidity and agility are key, and that’s why having technology, media and creative playing on the same team is going to be crucial for the successful marketer or agency.

Jason Dooris

CEO and founder, Atomic 212

Why 2017 will herald a resurgence of values-based marketing

It doesn’t take long for predictions to become predictable: The rise and rise of Facebook; advancements in analytics; the normalisation of chatbots; personalisation, programmatic, automation, authenticity… The prediction that’s missing from these lists is that in 2017 we will witness a resurgence of values-based marketing.

Jacqueline Burns

Founder, Market Expertise

Why customer experience driven growth is set to take off

Our overall brand perceptions are invariably shaped by our experiences. And loyal customer relationships can be severed in moments by a negative service interaction.

Not to mention that the full realisation of the "implosion of trust" recorded in the Edelman Trust Barometer 2017 leaves the move to valu...

Walter Adamson

Why 2017 will herald a resurgence of values-based marketing

Read more

loved the Qantas airline and hyundai one

Furqan Bin Rizwan

10 examples of virtual reality marketing in action

Read more

Someone needs a swift kick up the bum for such an idiotic idea.

random

​Why a degree is no longer enough to get you hired as a skilled marketer

Read more

The frequent flyer programs are the new profit machines for airlines all over the world, as they have morphed to be mass marketing machin...

Steve@iFLYflat

Velocity frequent flyers program strong performer in mixed half-year for Virgin

Read more

Hi Jennifer, thanks for sharing these info regarding the digital marketing trends.I've created a related video to this topic, would you m...

Fabio Carry

Predictions: 17 digital marketing trends for 2017

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in