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Appliance Brands Respond to Challenging Market Conditions

August 02, 2012

While customer satisfaction with appliances has declined slightly from 2011, some manufacturers have managed to differentiate their brands and increase customer satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Laundry and Kitchen Appliance Satisfaction Studies.

"As the economy improves, appliance manufacturers are looking to maintain and grow their market position by opening new manufacturing plants and launching new product lines," said Christina Cooley, senior manager of the home improvement practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "Customers increasingly want more from their appliances, and manufacturers are working incredibly hard to differentiate themselves in a competitive market in terms of offering products that are easy to use and have innovative features, while maximizing value."

Customer satisfaction is measured in six factors: performance and reliability (including how well the appliance functions, noise level and energy efficiency); features (such as the usefulness of settings available and appliance capacity); ease of use; styling and appearance; price; and warranty.

In the clothes washers category, Samsung ranks highest in customer satisfaction, followed by Kenmore Elite, LG and Electrolux. For clothes dryers, Samsung again ranks highest with LG, Electrolux and Kenmore Elite following.

While Samsung scored the highest in refrigerators, the company is followed by Sub-Zero, Kenmore Elite and LG. Bosch took the number one spot for dishwashers with Miele, KitchenAid and Kenmore Elite rounding out the top four slots. Kenmore Elite ranks highest in customer satisfaction with ranges, cooktops and ovens and is followed in the rankings by Wolf and Viking.

The 2012 Laundry Appliance Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 4,600 customers who purchased clothes washers and/or clothes dryers in the past 24 months. The 2012 Kitchen Appliance Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 4,100 customers who purchased dishwashers; more than 3,800 who purchased cooktops/ranges/ovens; and more than 4,600 who purchased refrigerators in the same timeframe.

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