A survey of 1,054 life scientists uncovered a marked affinity for recommending brand names to colleagues rather than competing brands with less market cachet. The study - "Maximizing Market Share Through Brand Differentiation" - focused on differentiating reagents, instruments, and lab supplies by quality, service, or price.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based gene chipmaker Affymetrix took top honors as most differentiated brand. New England Biolabs, an Ipswich, Mass.-based maker of restriction enzymes and other molecular-biology reagents, is perceived as having the best products and a sincere and trusted brand personality, i.e., the most emotional appeal to consumers, says survey author Tamara Zemlo of the Arlington, Virginia-based market research and consulting firm BioInformatics. Yet missing top honors for those particular aspects of name association doesn't seem to have hurt Carlsbad, Calif.-based Invitrogen, which nonetheless is perceived as having built the strongest bond with customers, according to the survey.

Jonathan Olsen, business development specialist...

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