How Big Brands Determine Core Consumers

by Kaitlin Hawkins | Mar. 28, 2014

Companies are waging platform wars on a variety of fronts: digital media and apps, social networking and messaging, commerce and advertising, payment and artificial intelligence. Each player is fighting hard because it knows each new product and feature, each device iteration and software upgrade, along with related content and service updates, are critical to the end user's experience. The richer the experience, the higher the value a company can earn from its loyalists.

But how does a company determine who its "loyalists" are? Parks Associates has been tracking platform companies, both major and minor, to paint a picture of their strengths and weaknesses. For companies like Amazon, the answer is simple: Prime members, who number close to 20 million and spend three times more than the average Amazon shopper. Similarly, Microsoft's core users are Xbox Live account owners, numbering over 50 million, who also purchase Gold subscriptions.

For companies like Apple and Google, however, the answer isn't as clear. Because these platforms have expanded into other, broader territories—such as advertising, apps, and operating systems—core users tend to be spread across many different areas.

These findings were reported in the March 2014 Parks Points newsletter. To read the full report, subscribe for free by clicking the button below:

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