MTA Survey #1, brand awareness & perception

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now excited to have Ben Stein as very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2019 and beyond.

6 Responses

  1. Sandy Daugherty says:

    Its a lot to digest, Ben. It will be interesting to see how brand-name confusion falls out. As an aside, TheHulltruth.com has a string of surprisingly favorable comments about West Marine, one of their favorite bete noirs. I guess its all about how you ask the question.

  2. Evan says:

    Actually, I would disagree with the last quote in the article slightly. Not that I don’t think you should reevaluate each product offering, but that you need to be aware of the brand you currently have installed and whether the particular product you are buying needs to be consistent with your current equipment.
    Case in point, just because Lawrence makes a NMEA 2000 fuel tank sensor, doesn’t mean you can use it with a Garmin MDU, because you have to have a Lawrence head unit in order to configure it before you can use it. (Lawrence support response “Yes it is NMEA 2000 compliant, you just have to use it with Lawrence equipment”).

  3. Shine Rogers says:

    Hi Ben,
    I find the ration between the individual company positive and negative responses more telling than the percentages. The ratio tends to take out the brand recognition / market aspect and deals more with satisfaction of users. For instance:
    RayMarine 265:172 = 1.54
    Furuno 207:24 = 8.62
    Simrad 67:27 = 2.48
    Lowrance 36:58 = 0.62
    Scores above 1.0 indicate Strength in Customer Satisfaction with Product.
    Scores below 1.0 indicate Weakness.
    Biased on this Furuno is the way to Go for the bigger recognized names. The two other players that were always high on my radar RayMarine and Lowrence did much poorer in your survey and biased on the numbers Lowrance is now OFF my radar.
    Just something to ponder.
    Cheers, Shine

  4. Rob Beebe says:

    At some point down the road it would be interesting to see if there is a higher incidence of product dissatisfaction when the owner self-installed the equipment, than there is when professionally installed. Then, identify which brands tend to have more owner-installing appeal (I think the words “amateur installation” belongs here?). It may help to explain some surprises in the data, particularly the negative responses to Raymarine.

  5. Jim White says:

    Shine,
    While I like your comparison, you combined Garmin and Raymarine and came up with the wrong calculation. They should be:
    Garmin 265:49 = 5.41
    Raymarine 189:172 = 1.09
    All the rest I believe are correct.
    So the two big players could be Garmin and Furuno depending on Evan’s point of compatibility between the particular product being purchased versus the brand that may already be installed.
    The last point I would like to make is that the purchase decision may also depend on which type of equipment is being purchased and how far their technology has advanced this last year. Case in point is Simrad. While they have consistently set the industry standard for Autopilots (which is compatible with most MFDs), they have lagged behind with their own MFDs. It will be interesting to see how well their new line-up does in next year’s survey.

  6. Evan says:

    I was a huge Raymarine fan, and have self (amateur) installed their transponders, autopilot with Octopus drive unit, and the seatalk pc interface to use with the Raytech software. (Actually I have installed their autopilots on three boats). I have never had any problems with their equipment (other than learning never to plop down my tool bag near the flux gate compass while under autopilot).
    The guys at Fisheries Supply however talked me into going with Garmin when I added the Chartplotter & Radar, and I am very glad I did. Garmin is heads above Raymarine, and as far as I know the other equipment manufacturers, because every few months they provide user installable software upgrades to fix issues and ADD features. I believe it is this after sales service that makes the difference in boater’s perception of the brand.

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