The NPD Group: McAfee and Norton Still Rule the Market for Security Software, as Retail Sales Continue to Drive the Market

Share Article

Unlike the two market leaders, the ability of smaller, less well-known companies to gain substantial market presence through PC distribution and via retail shelves is extremely limited and expensive, since this channel carries enormous setup and trade costs.

News Image
Norton and McAfee have done a great job leveraging their hard-won brand recognition into strong distribution relationships in the best places the customer can be acquired -- at the store point of presence and at the point of PC purchase.

The web has opened up opportunities for security software brands to challenge the hegemony of Norton and McAfee, giving companies like AVG and Avast a way to gain consumer mind share, according to a new report from leading market research company, The NPD Group. Unlike the two market leaders, the ability of smaller, less well-known companies to gain substantial market presence through PC distribution and via retail shelves is extremely limited and expensive, since this channel carries enormous setup and trade costs. Companies that can’t afford retail continue to be limited by their inability to access the vast majority of customers for security software.

“Norton and McAfee have done a great job leveraging their hard-won brand recognition into strong distribution relationships in the best places the customer can be acquired -- at the store point of presence and at the point of PC purchase,” said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis for NPD. “When it comes to selling on the Internet, however, smaller less well-known companies are managing to stay competitive.”

According to NPD’s “Security Software Topical Report,” the leading providers of security software, Norton and McAfee, have almost universal consumer recognition (86 percent each), and they use that recognition to deliver their products over a wide range of channel choices. Yet for all this success in branding, both Norton and McAfee have had a difficult time increasing their market share over the past few years, as challenges to their hegemony have shown up online and in retail stores.

Top Security Software Brands
[Source: The NPD Group, “Security Software Topical Report,” July 2011]

Brand | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
Norton | 32% | 33% | 32%
McAfee | 27% | 25% | 28%
AVG | 16% | 16% | 18%
Windows Live One Care Security Suite | 9% | 9% | 9%
Avast | 8% | 9% | 6%

As the two industry leaders continue to tussle for security software primacy, smaller Web-focused companies like AVG and Avast are holding their own with both a free model, and a combination free-to-paid model, which are distributed directly online. In fact, both of those brands capture over 90 percent of their customers online, while just 71 percent of McAfee users and 59 percent of Norton users were captured online.

According to The NPD Group, AVG and Avast also boast the highest conversion rates from awareness to usage of any consumer security software brands – 44 percent and 40 percent, respectively – which is a testament to the strength of brand building in the online marketplace. By comparison, the awareness to usage conversion rates of industry-leader Norton is 37 percent, and McAfee is 31 percent. Still, Baker urges pragmatism. “Even though they’ve done well by the Web, these smaller brands don’t have the longstanding institutional support from retailers and PC makers enjoyed by Norton and McAfee,” Baker said, “which means that even though they are doing well with their online models, there’s still a lot more ground to make up, before they can begin to crack the top tier.”

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 1,800 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, entertainment, fashion, food, home and office, sports, technology, toys, video games, and wireless. For more information, contact us, visit http://www.npd.com/, or follow us Twitter at https://twitter.com/npdgroup.

###

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Lee Graham
Visit website