Samsung brand image slumps after US ruling

Apple has won another victory over Samsung after a study showed that perception of the South Korean brand has plummeted since a US court ruled last week it had copied some of Apple’s smartphone designs.

Samsung Nite

The decision to fine Samsung $1.05bn for trademark infringement has led to a marked shift in sentiment towards the brand in the week since the judgement was announced with the phone maker dropping from first to 24th in YouGov’s mobile brand rankings.

According to the pollster’s BrandIndex data, Samsung’s Buzz score – a net balance of whether people have heard positive or negative things about the brand – slumped to -5.8 yesterday (30 August), from 22.8 on the 23 August, the day the ruling was announced.

However, its index score – how customers rate the brand in terms of impression, quality, value, reputation, satisfaction and whether they would recommend it – took no hit and increased slightly to 39 from 36.5 a week earlier.

Despite winning its case, perception of Apple’s iPhone brand also slipped. Its Buzz score dropped to 10.9 from 16.3 over the same period. However, the fall is not considered significant by YouGov because it is mirrors Apple’s long-term average.

Many analysts have predicted that it will be Apple and not Samsung that will suffer in the long-term. Influential markets blog Streetinsider said last week that if Apple is successful in banning any or all of the eight Samsung products it wants to see removed from shelves consumers could view it as “ weak and afraid of competition”.

Samsung is also hoping that perception of the Apple brand will suffer, predicting in an internal memo earlier this week that brands do not win the “hearts and minds” of consumers by “prioritising litigation over innovation”.

The US court case was one of several similar legal battles being fought throughout the world. The latest ruling came in Japan earlier today where a court dismissed Apple’s claim that Samsung had infringed a patent on synchronising technology.

Last week, a South Korean court ruled Apple and Samsung both infringed each other’s patents when designing some of their mobile devices.

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