11 November 2018

With Christmas fast approaching, which brands look set to win the war of the internet-connected virtual assistants?

Y&R Paris presents its analysis on the basis of its BrandAsset® Valuator study.

Like digital butlers perfectly suited to the connected households of today, virtual assistants are expected to respond to the needs of individuals with unparalleled speed and ease. In fact, by 2022, it is predicted that 50% of all online searches will be made using voice commands (source Comscore).

But which virtual assistant is most likely to win over French shoppers and secure its spot under their Christmas trees this year?

For 25 years now, BrandAsset® Valuator has been helping people assess brand value from the perspective of the “consumer”.

This brand perception analysis tool is the biggest of its kind in the world:

it evaluates 59,000 brands using 75 key indicators across 54 countries with total investment of $160 million. Over its 25 year history, it has collected over 9.8 billion data sets on brand value, i.e. the ability of brands to generate future growth.

Its analysis of the 4 biggest brands in the smart speaker market (Apple, Orange, Amazon and Google) included an evaluation of their persuasive power over consumers. Despite not being part of the 2018 wave of the study (the Djingo brand had not yet launched when it was compiled), Orange’s Home Assistant is showing signs that it has what it takes to succeed in this market where competition looks set to intensify in the run-up to Christmas.


  1. Google Home: the most powerful brand on the market, sitting well ahead of the AppleHome Pod and Amazon Echo

Google Home received an overall score of 75.36, whereas the Apple Home Pod and Amazon Echo only managed 38.6 and 33.59 respectively. Google Home’s flagship product is its Google Assistant. Several reviews name it as the best assistant on the market. It solves IQ test problems better than the others, has the highest percentage of relevant results and can handle more applications. As such, it represents a huge asset for the brand. The “best service” category saw Google Home come out on top again with 74.42, compared to Apple’s 57.89 and Amazon’s disappointing 54.82.

  1. Amazon Echo scored highest of all the Home Assistants tested for “customer care”.

This is unsurprising given the brand’s legacy of e-commerce expertise. Amazon received a score of 81.42 against Google Home’s 29.33, while Apple Home Pod was awarded just 7.42.

  1. Apple Home Pod has the advantage of its parent brand’s prestige image and design quality.

The title of most “prestigious” and “stylish” Home Assistant went to Apple.

In the “Prestige” category, the results looked like this: 79.11 for Apple, 67.69 for Google and 45.69 for Amazon.

While under “Style”, they scored as follows: Apple – 72.80, Google – 66.67 and Amazon – 24.28.


So will Orange be able to hold its own?

The BrandAsset® Valuator report shows us that Orange, Amazon and Google have been able to differentiate themselves in terms of “customer care” and “service quality”, whereas Apple managed to beat the competition on desirability — a hallmark characteristic of the brand.

But will Apple’s avant-garde aesthetics be enough to differentiate itself in the marketplace given that it is already perceived as aloof by consumers? After all, in this sector, trust and familiarity (closeness?) are key since voice commands are effectively personal requests we make as we go about our everyday lives. Thus, all things considered, Orange could potentially show itself to be a serious competitor in this market.

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