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SE Asian consumers open to new products

News, 25 June 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: Consumers in Southeast Asia are more open to trying new products than anywhere else in the world according to a new study.

Market researcher Nielsen polled 30,000 online respondents in 60 countries for its Global New Product Innovation Survey as it explored consumer attitudes and sentiments about the drivers behind new product purchase intent. In this study a new product was defined simply as any item a consumer had never bought previously.

On this score, Asian consumers areĀ amongst the most adventurous, the Star reported, with 69% in Asia Pacific claiming to have bought a new product during their most recent grocery shopping trip, compared to 57% globally.

That figure rose to 73% when narrowed to Southeast Asia, well ahead of other emerging markets like Africa/Middle East (57%) and Latin America (56%).

In comparison, consumers in Europe (44%) and North America (31%) were relatively set in their ways.

"Consumers throughout South-East Asia have a strong appetite for innovation and they are increasingly demanding and expecting better choice," said Johan Vrancken, head of Nielsen's innovation practice in South-East Asia, North Asia and Pacific.

"But success can be hard to come by," he added. "Brand competition is intense and shelves are crowded so knowing the channels which are most effective in delivering new product information is crucial."

In the case of Malaysian consumers, word of mouth was the top influence (58%), followed by television (46%) and seeing a product in-store (42%). Internet search and social media postings were also cited by 40% of Malaysian survey respondents.

Brand recognition is an important factor, the survey revealed, as 63% of Malaysians preferred to buy new products from brands they were already familiar with, compared to 59% globally. A similar proportion said they liked it when manufacturers offered new product options.

Affordability, cited by 34%, is the main consideration for these consumers when buying a new product for the first time, just ahead of personal recommendation (32%) and family suitability (31%).

Data sourced from Marketing Interactive, The Star; additional content by Warc staff