Kiwi shoppers not swayed by fancy brands

CATHERINE HARRIS
Last updated 11:58 04/07/2013

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Kiwis consider themselves savvy shoppers who would rather get value from their purchases than simply pay for a brand name, a global survey of consumer preferences shows.

The survey, by research house Nielsen, asked more than 29,000 respondents in 58 countries how willing they were to pay more for designer goods over their unbranded counterparts.

While 75 per cent of Chinese consumers would spend more on designer goods, just 25 per cent of consumers in Australia and 17 per cent of those in New Zealand said they were brand-oriented.

The survey also showed that Australasians were less likely to be swayed by advertising.

Just 33 per cent of New Zealand and Australian consumers felt commercials influenced their preference for a brand, compared with more than 55 per cent of global consumers.

Suzie Dale, head of Nielsen's brand practice, said the research highlighted a need for marketers to take a more sophisticated and value-oriented approach in Australasia.

"We tend to have a cynical side when it comes to advertising and branding and like to see ourselves as intelligent shoppers who aren't won over solely by marketing claims, but instead buy a product based on merit and the value it offers."

The rise of home-brand goods in supermarkets was a good illustration, she said.

"We generally need to believe a more expensive product will offer a tangible quality that makes it better, otherwise we're often unwilling to pay more for it."

Dale said strategies that appealed to status alone would fall short in New Zealand and Australia.

"A product needs to show it will enhance a consumer's life and is the intelligent choice - for example, a tastier cake, or a car that is luxurious but also uses less fuel and will look good for longer," she said.

However, while brands had to work harder to sway Australasian shoppers, they could also gain a higher level of loyalty if their products lived up to expectations.

Just 31 per cent of Kiwis and a similar percentage of Australians said they liked to buy products of famous brands, against the global average of 47 per cent.

The Asia-Pacific average was 55 per cent, and India topped the scale globally with 74 per cent of respondents preferring status brands.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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