If PCs were cars, Dell would be Honda and Compaq would be BMW.
Market researcher Intelliquest asked around 400 consumers in the US to pair car makers with PC companies. Dell reminded more consumers of Honda than any other PC brand, followed by Gateway 2000. Compaq reminded most of BMW.
You would expect Compaq to be delighted at this association. But not so. A company spokesman said that while the company doesn't mind being considered well engineered, it doesn't want to be thought of as expensive.
Ironically, Compaq's UK boss, Joe McNally, drives a BMW. His other car is a Ferrari.
Another surprise was that manufacturers would rather be associated with Honda than either Porsche or Ferrari. This could have something to do with the fact that in the US, the Japanese car firm has a perception of style, quality and affordability. Had the survey been carried out in the UK, the results may have been a little different.
"I think the perception of Honda as a brand in the US is quite different to what it is in the UK," said Julian Phillips, Dell's UK notebook business manager.
This may explain why Dell UK, in conducting similar research, chose breakfast cereals rather than cars for its brand-awareness survey. Users were invited to choose which cereal brand reminded them most of each of the top four notebook manufacturers. Toshiba was Kellogg's, IBM was the snap crackle and pop with Rice Krispies, Compaq were Grrrrreat with Frosties and Dell was Weetabix.
"I'm perfectly happy for Dell to be regarded as the Weetabix of the notebook market," Phillips commented.
If your PC were a breakfast cereal which would it be and why? - answers on a postcard. A box of your favourite cereal for the best answer.
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