NEW YORK: Having a unique experience with a brand is an important factor in determining purchase and 40% of consumers would pay more for those offering this type of interaction, new research has determined.

A study, Best Experience Brands, from the brand experience agency Jack Morton Worldwide, surveyed 4,000 adult consumers in the US, UK, Australia and China as it sought to understand the impact of experience on consumer brand choice.

Experience was defined as "interactions with the products, employees or people who represent a brand, as well as anything [they] learn from that brand's marketing, word-of-mouth or recommendations from friends, colleagues or social media."

"What we found is that no matter their geographic or cultural differences – when it comes to brand choice, consumers around the world are placing increased importance on experience," said Josh McCall, Chairman & CEO of Jack Morton.

Fully 87% of respondents said they were more likely to recommend a brand based on a great experience, a metric that scored highest in China (90.9%) and lowest in Australia (81.1%).

Some 80.4% agreed they were more likely to consider a brand if they knew they would have a great experience. Again, China registered the highest figures here with 93.8% agreeing, while Australians were more skeptical on 74.2%.

Nearly six in ten consumers (58.1%) were prepared to pay more for a brand that offered a great experience. Once again, Chinese consumers were in the forefront, with 63.7% ready to pay a premium, compared to just 49.5% of Australians.

The trend was especially evident among Millennials. Over 95% of 25-34 year olds in China were more likely to consider a brand if it offered a great experience, while 88% in the UK were more likely to recommend a brand offering a great experience.

And more than 70% of the same demographic in the US were more likely to pay a premium for brands that offered a great experience.

There was, however, a gap between expectations and actual performance in this regard. The report cited the example of car brands and customer service. Two thirds of respondents thought it was important for car brands to provide excellent customer service, but less than one third agreed that car brands were delivering on this.

Data sourced from Jack Morton Worldwide; additional content by Warc staff