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Perception is Everything

Looking at LinkedIn this morning, it seems like everyone recently won some kind of award from one publication or another. Congrats to all. ComTech, being an analyst firm, doesn’t do awards nor report them though we admit, they are a lot of fun and we always enjoyed getting suited up and all posh for the Commodity Now awards dinner. However, we do publish a perception study every couple of years and the most recent version was just issued. In this study, we test the brand strength of the various vendors, ask about market leadership perceptions and about buying criteria. Since we have essentially been doing the study for well over a decade, we can also comment on historical trends. So it makes for some interesting reading.

Perceptions are backward looking. The study, therefore, reflects the past and not necessarily the future. As we discussed in a recent article looking at ION’s brand strength, things can change and they can change fairly rapidly as in the case of, for example, TriplePoint.

The study shows that there are a couple of groupings when it comes to brand awareness. Ahead of the pack, are vendors ION OpenLink and Allegro, who have very broad name recognition. The second group of challengers (or fading brands) includes ION TriplePoint, FIS, and Brady PLC. Next is another group of emerging brands including Eka, ION Aspect, Pioneer and Amphora. Below that are vendors that perhaps have regional name recognition or are known in a particular industry nice or segment like, for example, Contigo, Enuit, Molecule and many more. In fact, the respondents were able to name over 50 different vendors and products while ComTech tracks over 100. The current dominance in terms of leadership perceptions, of ION OpenLink and Allegro, is strong, however, other vendors like Brady PLC dominate metals leadership perceptions. Eka is thought of as the market leader in the Ags space and ION Aspect for cloud and implementation.

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We also note the growing importance of two buying criteria that in the past, were ranked quite low – price and cloud delivery. We see this as speaking to the current cost-sensitive dominated environment and the increasing importance of the cloud to many in the industry.

The study also breaks out the views in terms of buying criteria between two groups – the buyers and their influencers – and we do see some interesting differences in opinion there although, in terms of market leadership perceptions, the two camps largely agree with each other.

The Vendor Perception study report, kindly sponsored by Brady PLC and Enuit, is available for download and is totally free. It can be obtained here.