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Canon Tops Two Customer Satisfaction Polls

 New York – Reports by Ispos Insight and J.D. Power and Associates put Canon atop the digital camera market in terms of customer satisfaction.

Canon was singled out as the “best manufacturer” from fifteen brands in an Ipsos Insight Internet poll conducted during the spring. Nearly a quarter of respondents (24 percent) picked Canon, followed by Kodak (17 percent), Sony and Nikon (15 percent) and Olympus (6 percent).

Canon won highest marks among younger, college-educated users and those with high incomes, the firm noted. Kodak earned kudos from older, less-educated consumers, Ipsos said.

“Our study results show that consumer perception of the Kodak brand has been more positive than the brand’s actual market share figures would reflect,” said Leslie Rich, Ipsos Insight media, entertainment and technology practice VP in a statement released with the findings.

Seventy percent of Internet households own a digital camera and 61 percent own a photo printer, the study found. Younger consumers reported higher digital camera ownership and older consumers had stronger printer ownership numbers.

Ipsos also noted that digital cameras and home photo printers are second only to cell phones as the most pervasive consumer electronics in consumer’s homes

“Americans are embracing their love for digital photography and sharing images within their social networks. The online photo storage and sharing industry will benefit from this and continue to grow,” Rich observed.

On the printing side, Ipsos predicted that HP’s lock on the ink cartridge business would come under increasing pressure as consumers catch on to alternatives, like aftermarket cartridges or inkjet refillers. “Consumers are likely to sacrifice some quality in response to the perceived price-gouging by the [printing] industry leaders,” Rich said.

In J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Digital Camera Usage and Satisfaction study, Canon’s PowerShot SD series ranked highest in the premium point and shoot digital camera segment. Casio took top honors in the “ultra slim” segment with its Exilim Zoom line, while Fujifilm’s FinePix F series lead the general point-and-shoot segment and Nikon’s D-series took d-SLR honors.

The research firm used picture quality, performance, operation, and appearance and styling as judging criteria.

Brand loyalty was strongest among d-SLR users, the firm found, and d-SLR users reported greater satisfaction with their product and a higher propensity to recommend their current brand.

“The relationship between owner satisfaction and brand loyalty is critical to manufacturers in this highly competitive market,” said Steve Kirkeby, telecommunications and technology executive director, J.D. Power and Associates, in a statement released with the findings.

“A 10-point improvement in overall satisfaction can lead to a 1-percentage-point improvement in brand loyalty, particularly within the point and shoot, premium point and shoot and ultra slim segments,” he added.

Aside from being happier, d-SLR owners also snapped more than twice as many photos per month as their point-and-shoot counterparts, 400 photos vs. 140.

Among purchase motivators, J.D. Power found that 36 percent of all camera owners report that positive recommendations from friends and family played a strong role in their purchase decision.

For the full customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Powers and Associates, click here.

For charts related to Ipsos Insight’s research, click here.