What You Need to Know: March 2016

From new devices to new ways to pay through mobile, here's what the industry was talking about in March.

1. New iOS Devices
New iOS Devices
Last Monday, Apple announced the iPhone SE, new iPad and iOS 9.3. Earlier that day, Branding Brand was included in related reports.
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2. Samsung Galaxy S7
Samsung Galaxy S7
The Samsung Galaxy 7 went on sale March 11. An early user review on noted that the new device has a strong battery life among other features.
Read more

3. The Ways to Mobile Pay
The Ways to Mobile Pay
Apple Pay is moving beyond apps to mobile sites and will be available to shoppers before this year's holiday season.
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4. Hands-Free Payment
Hands-Free Payments
Hands-free Google Pay might be a thing someday. Google is exploring the future of mobile payments and is currently piloting a new payment app.
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5. Selfie Pay
Selfie Pay

Amazon filed a patent application for facial recognition technology to enable people to use selfies instead of passwords.
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6. Apple Pay on Top
Apple Pay on Top
The demand for Apple Pay dominates with 67% of retailers wanting to implement this type of payment over others.
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7. Ship from Store
Ship from Store
GameStop launched ship-from-store delivery, which allows its employees to access inventory data at any store or warehouse.
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8. On-Demand Delivery
On-Demand Delivery
American Apparel will offer within-the-hour delivery from 79 stores via Postmates for standard tees, sweatshirts, body suits, pants, leggings, and dresses.
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9. Security and Devices
Security and Devices

Americans are divided on the topic of whether Apple should comply with an FBI request for a backdoor key to the iPhone.
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10. Free Design Tips
Free Design Tips
Google launched a new research hub for mobile designers and developers on its "Thinking with Google" site.
Read more

Topics: Trends

This Week at Branding Brand: March 19-25

Did you miss Monday's Apple announcement? Check out the complete recap.


Missed yesterday's #AppleEvent? Not to worry—we made you a cheat sheet. See profile for link.

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Our Branders are focused on the #appleevent

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Watching the #appleevent and excited to find out what's next!

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We totally didn’t mind trading in lunch for @secondbreakfastpgh today! #waffles #hobbit #WaffleErryDay

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Topics: Company

Samsung Galaxy S7 Tops the Charts as the Best Smartphone

Consumer Reports named the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge as the two best smartphones available on the market.

After the Galaxy S6 left consumers feeling disappointed, Samsung revamped the S7 series, which is pushing its way to the top of the pack. In fact, the S7 and S7 edge landed the #1 and #2 spots on Consumer Reports' Ratings for the best smartphones on the market.

The long-awaited Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge not only bring back S5 features, like expandable storage and water resistance, that users missed out on in the previous S6 model, but the company also introduces an array of other upgrades. Here are the 5 things you should know about:

Picture-Perfect Display
The S7 and S7 edge allow consumers to see the display in bright light due to their high-resolution screens. 

No Water Worries
Even when the USB ports are exposed, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge can withstand being submerged in 5-foot-deep water for 30 minutes.

Impressive Camera
Consumer Reports included this generation of Galaxies in its list of best smartphone cameras, saying that the devices produce higher-quality photos than their S6 predecessor and the iPhone 6s.

With their 12.2 megapixel rear-facing cameras, optical image stabilizer, and 5 megapixel front-facing camera, the S7 and S7 edge received "Excellent" marks for their still image quality and "Very good" marks for video quality.

Extensive Storage
With better photos and videos comes the need for more storage. Fortunately for Galaxy users, the S7 models have an SD slot for expandable storage.

Long-Lasting Battery
The Galaxy S7 and S7 edge also landed on the list of smartphones with the best battery life. Both devices allow for over 24 hours of talk time—more than twice the time enabled by the iPhone 6s.

Topics: Trends

Brander Spotlight on iOS 9.3

iOS 9

Curious about how iOS 9.3—the latest release from Apple—will affect shoppers? Sky Eckstrom, iOS App Developer at Branding Brand shares his knowledge.

Q: Overall, what do you think is the most significant update in iOS 9.3 for general users?

A: iOS users will enjoy the addition of Night Shift. Many people use their devices to read news or check social media in bed before going to sleep. The glaring blue light interrupts the body’s natural circadian rhythm keeping them from falling asleep. Night Shift automatically adjusts the white balance, warming the display to help users wind down at the end of the day.

Q: What's the most significant update for retailers?

A: Apple continues to integrate 3D Touch into its own native apps, and users will increasingly come to expect it. Retailers should consider updating their apps to take advantage of 3D Touch “quick actions” to let shoppers quickly search, scan, check order status, and more from the home screen.

Q: Will the updates to the Wallet app and Apple Pay have an impact on shopping?

A: The ease of signup for loyalty programs will drive further interest in creating and using passes for Wallet. Now that shoppers can sign up for store loyalty programs when using Apple Pay at the point of sale, more users will have a loyalty pass in their Wallet app for participating retailers. Native apps can take advantage of this by seamlessly importing the existing loyalty card from Wallet during checkout.

Also, Apple is pushing to make Apple Pay available to more users in more places. The addition of the iPhone SE means Apple’s entire iPhone lineup is now Apple Pay-capable.
Add Apple Pay to your site or app

Q: What are some ways that retailers can take advantage of the 3D Touch feature on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus?

A: Retailers can make the most of 3D Touch by providing “quick actions” to access frequently-used features. As we know, shoppers who have installed retailers’ apps are their most loyal customers; they should be given a way to quickly scan a product or check on the status of their order.

“Peek and pop” are also great ways to help power users get the most out of native apps. Customers can deeply press on a product to view high-level details or on the cart to get a quick summary.

iOS 3D Touch

3D Touch provides access to frequently-used app features.

To get the entire scoop on yesterday’s Apple announcement, download our cheat sheet, and visit brandingbrand.com/apple for the latest info on the iPhone SE, including consumer survey results, video, and more.

Want to take your retail app to the next level? Contact us today to integrate your loyalty card with Wallet for an elevated customer experience.

Topics: Trends Company

Here's a Recap of Today's Apple Keynote


Want a condensed version of today's Apple Keynote? 

Branding Brand tuned in as Apple Inc. CEO, Tim Cook, hosted a special event to loop in the public on several company updates today. Among the updates were new Apple Watch bands, Apple TV updates, a new iPhone, and a new iPad Pro. 

Here's the recap.  

View the results of the Apple Consumer Survey Branding Brand conducted as lead up to today's event. 

Topics: Trends Recap

[PRESS] Business Insider Features Branding Brand Study

Global iPhone sales growth, according to Apple

Branding Brand today was featured in a lead up story on Business Insider about the anticipated iPhone launch. View the excerpt:

If the reports prove true, then a new device launch could provide a shot in the arm to declining iPhone sales. Apple would likely try to use this smaller device to get customers who are still attached to their older iPhone 5 models to upgrade. This group represents more than one-third of all iPhones currently in use in the U.S., according to Branding Brand.

Read the full story.

Study Background
After learning about the rumored products being unveiled at Apple Inc.'s event on March 21, Branding Brand conducted a survey to see how receptive current iPhone owners are to the release. Learn more:  

Featured Coverage


Topics: Trends Survey Media Coverage Company

[PRESS] Chris Mason Quoted in LA Times Story on Today's Apple Announcement


Branding Brand CEO, Chris Mason gave his insights to Los Angeles Times on the new products Apple, Inc. is expected to launch at today's product announcement. View the excerpt: 

Developers and analysts expect the event to be subdued as well, with a focus on incremental hardware updates as opposed to "Earth shattering innovation — the kind of stuff that changes the landscape," said Chris Mason, chief executive of Web and app development firm Branding Brand.

Read the full story.

Study Background
After learning about the rumored products being unveiled at Apple Inc.'s event on March 21, Branding Brand conducted a survey to see how receptive current iPhone owners are to the release. Learn more:  

Featured Coverage

Topics: Trends Survey Media Coverage Company

[PRESS] Apple Consumer Study Now in Inc. Magazine

Inc Magazine features Branding Brand: Why the Next iPhone Will Land With a Resounding Thud

Inc. Magazine critiqued the rumored iPhone launch and included results from Branding Brand's Apple Consumer Survey. View the excerpt below or read the full article

A new survey by Branding Brand made the point quite clearly. In a survey of over 1,000 users across every age group from Millennials to Baby Boomers, a full 78% said they would not upgrade. The survey also found that, of those who currently have the iPhone 6 model, 88% do not plan to buy the 4-inch model.

Study Background
After learning about the rumored products being unveiled at Apple Inc.'s event on March 21, Branding Brand conducted a survey to see how receptive current iPhone owners are to the release. Learn more:  

Featured Coverage

Topics: Trends Survey Media Coverage Company

3 Articles You Need to Read Before the Apple Event

Here's what you need to know about the Apple event on Monday, March 21.

In recent weeks, Apple insiders and loyalists have speculated about the new products that the company will release at its next event. Here are the 3 articles you need to read to be up-to-speed for Monday's announcement:

4 New Products We Expect Apple to Reveal at its March Event
Paste Magazine gives an overview of the 4 new products expected to be announced at Monday's event including a new 4-inch iPhone (possibly named the iPhone SE), iPad, Apple Watch bands, and MacBook. Read More

Everything we think we know about Apple's 4-inch iPhone SE
From the design and specs to the name and price, Mashable has it all, including a video rendering of what the new iPhone might look like based on the rumors. ReadMore.jpg

Now I know why Apple is going to make a small iPhone again
Although many iPhone owners, may see Apple's 4-inch iPhone as a step backwards, Tech Insider suggests the new, smaller smartphone may be an ideal upgrade option for consumers who are hanging onto their current iPhone 5 device, waiting for a smaller alternative than the larger iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models. ReadMore.jpg

Even though Apple hasn't officially released the new 4-inch iPhone, speculation has consumers talking. Visit brandingbrand.com/apple for the latest info on the Apple event, or hear what people are saying:

Topics: Trends

[PRESS] Consumer Study Featured in Apple Watch Update

International Business Times featured results from Branding Brand's Apple Consumer Survey in a report about the smartwatch market. View the excerpt below or read the full article

Consumer Indifference
On one side of the coin, some consumers are just holding out from purchasing their first smartwatch. Of 1,500 people surveyed that intend to purchase a smartwatch over the next six months, about 74 percent think wearable technology is exciting, but for one reason or another have held off on buying a device, according to IDC. But on the other side, not everyone is eager to get a smartwatch. Of over 1,000 iPhone owners surveyed in the U.S. in February, 53 percent said nothing would convince them to purchase an Apple Watch, according to Branding Brand.

53% of people surveyed said nothing would convince them to purchase an Apple Watch.

Over half of U.S. iPhone users responding to a Branding Brand survey said nothing would convince them to purchase an Apple Watch.

Study Background
After learning about the rumored products being unveiled at Apple Inc.'s event on March 21, Branding Brand conducted a survey to see how receptive current iPhone owners are to the release. Learn more:  



Topics: Trends Survey Media Coverage Company

This Week at Branding Brand: March 5-11

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@evolfran putting some finishing touches on the new quiet study cubbies. #work #art #shh

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Topics: Company

[VIDEO] Consumers React to New, Smaller iPhone

Rumor is that later this month Apple plans to announce a "new" 4-inch iPhone, which may possibly be named the iPhone 5se. Curious about how consumers would react, we surveyed over 1,000 online shoppers and found that 3 out of 4 of them don't want a smaller iPhone.

Learn more about the shopper survey results.

Topics: Trends Survey

[INFOGRAPHIC] Consumer Survey: Millennials Holding out, Boomers Not Compelled to Buy Next iPhone

78% of current iPhone owners are not interested in purchasing the new 4-inch iPhone.

Loyal Apple consumers across generations aren’t excited about the 4-inch iPhone, which is expected to go on sale following Apple Inc.’s announcement later this month. A recent survey of 1,041 iPhone users in the U.S., found that 78% of Millennial, Generation X, and Baby Boomer-aged consumers are either happy with and will keep their current device, or plan to wait until the next iPhone launch.

Leading mobile shopping app and site platform, Branding Brand launched the study to see how receptive current iPhone owners are to Apple’s next release. Of the survey participants, 46% have only ever owned an iPhone as their smartphone, while the rest switched to iPhone at an earlier point in time. In its investors meeting on January 26, 2016, Apple noted that iPhone customer loyalty, in general, is two times as strong compared to Android.

Millennials, Generation X iPhone owners won’t ‘downgrade’
The youngest generations of iPhone users are most likely to own the latest devices. In fact, 60% of Millennials and Generation X currently own one of the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus models, but 88% of the people who own these devices aren’t interested in the new 4-inch iPhone.

“Millennials like to save money but will spend on quality,” said Chris Mason, CEO of Branding Brand. “With the latest product rollout, many are wondering if Apple’s making a step backward, but the company is likely expanding market share to potential consumers wanting to either switch or upgrade.”

45% of Millennials have always owned an iPhone; 60% currently own an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus model.

Millennial iPhone shoppers are worth a lot to retailers; 55% of them shop online 1-3 times per month. Of all generations, 51% shop online 1-3 times per month. During the 2015 holiday season, Branding Brand’s mobile shopping report saw that iPhones generated 65% of mobile shopping revenue and 61% of visits.

Cost is top concern, but Generation X most likely to own Apple Watch
The hype for the new Apple Watch bands might come up short for Apple’s announcement. Generation X is most likely to own an Apple Watch; however, only 4% of all people surveyed own an Apple Watch. If it were cheaper, 39% say they would consider buying one.

“Apple has a long way to go if they want to catch up with other wearables,” said Mason. “According to our survey, 53% of all consumers without a smartwatch say they couldn't be convinced to buy an Apple Watch, with cost being their top concern.”

42% of Generation X have always owned an iPhone; 60% currently own an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus model.

Baby Boomers most interested in the rumored 4-inch iPhone
Out of all age groups, Baby Boomers are the most likely to own an older iPhone. 42% of people owning iPhone 4s and older iPhone devices are willing to trade in their current device for the 4-inch iPhone. More than half of this generation is loyal to Apple and has never owned another brand of smartphone. 55% of 55-and-older iPhone owners currently have an iPhone 5s or older.

“We’ve come to expect innovation and excitement from Apple product launches,” said Mason. “Unfortunately, none of these products are actually new, but they are light functionality upgrades of devices that excited us years ago.”

52% of Baby Boomers have always owned an iPhone; 45% currently own an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus model.

KEY: Millennials: 18-34; Generation X: 35-54; Baby Boomers: 55-65+

RESOURCES: Survey Results; Infographic; Video

ABOUT BRANDING BRAND: Branding Brand launches and optimizes web, app, and in-store shopping experiences for 200 major brands, including American Eagle Outfitters, Sephora, and Bath & Body Works. Over two billion customers a year shop on the Company's patented platform, arming its analysts with the largest collection of data on usability best practices. For more information, visit www.brandingbrand.com, or follow @brandingbrand on Twitter.

Keep up with the latest Apple news at brandingbrand.com/apple.

Topics: Trends Survey Company Press Release

This Week at Branding Brand: February 27 - March 4


Happy #LeapDay! #Literal #LeapYear #Leap @caylenann

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Poppy the Puppy: a little dog with big dreams. #DogsofBB #ShihTzu #puppy

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