Brand extensions favoured by shoppers

23 January 2013

NEW YORK: A majority of consumers across the globe would be more willing to purchase an extension to a familiar brand rather than buy new products, a study from Nielsen has revealed.

The research firm polled 29,000 internet users in 58 countries, and found 60% of respondents expressed a preference for buying new lines from a known brand instead of an untested equivalent.

Exactly 50% of the panel may consider switching to a new product, a total rising to 57% in North America, as well as the Middle East and Africa, versus 56% in Europe and 47% in Latin America.

"Innovating on established brands that are already trusted by consumers can be a powerful strategy," Rob Wengel, senior vice president at Nielsen Innovation Analytics, said.

"Companies spend millions of dollars on new product innovation, yet two out of every three new products will not be on the market within three years."

Fully 64% of contributors would be open to buying store or "value" brands, while 60% of customers generally wait until a new innovation has "proved itself" before purchasing the item concerned.

The study also discovered that the turbulent fiscal climate is impacting shopper habits, as 45% of the sample agreed that the economic situation reduced the likelihood of their trying a new product.

An additional 39% of interviewees, however, were ready to meet a price premium to acquire offerings that recently came to market.

Elsewhere, the analysis stated that 40% of participants favoured local brands over global alternatives. Figures here peaked at 47% in North America.

More broadly, word-of-mouth advice from friends and family was the most persuasive source of new product information for 77% of adults questioned, beating online search on 67% and TV ads on 59%.

The internet was seen as playing an important role in making buying decisions for 62% of people when discussing food and beverages or personal hygiene goods, hitting 61% for over-the-counter medicine and 60% for goods in the haircare sector.

"Ensuring consumers are aware of the product and can find it on store shelves is just as critical as coming up with that winning new product idea," Wengel said.

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff