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Premium brands must offer discounts, says survey


Discounts are increasingly important for customers purchasing premium brands, as 70 per cent of shoppers don’t care where they buy from as long as they get a good price, a new survey released today reveals.

Premium brands, which 76 per cent of 1,000 shoppers defined as offering product quality, are increasingly having to offer discounts as reduced prices continue to entice cash-strapped shoppers, according to independent shop research agency Shoppercentric.

“It’s critical for premium brands to fully understand how their customers feel about their products presence and availability through different channels,” Danielle Pinnington, Managing Director at Shoppercentric explained.

“With the ever strengthening presence of the discounters we know this is an issue that continues to challenge brand managers, so it’s important to find out from shoppers about their perceptions and buying behaviours.”

In its report ‘WindowOn…The Brand Challenge’, Shoppercentric found that ‘premium’ brands provided a sense of trading up from cheaper alternatives and that consumers felt this was “worth the extra investment.”

However, six in 10 respondents stated that the snobbery around premium brands is off-putting and nearly 20 per cent “strongly agree” with the statement, while 28 per cent said they wanted to feel “special” when buying premium.

Price promotions on premium products encourage consumers to spend, as 74 per cent of shoppers agreed that they loved finding a premium brand with a discount while 61 per cent will only buy premium when discounts are on offer.

Brands which never offer discounts on their products are alienating customers as 59 per cent believe those who refuse to reduce prices are “out of touch with their customers” while 37 per cent agreed that brands that don’t discount don’t care about their shoppers.

Pinnington said of the findings:“It’s perhaps no surprise that shoppers still love to bag a bargain - indeed price reductions offer access to these products for many shoppers who would otherwise not buy them.

“However it’s important to get the difficult balance of discount/promotions right. To maintain a truly premium position, promotional activity should offer an occasional chance to indulge – or a welcome reward for loyalty – rather than a more continuous expectation which can see perception of ‘premium’ erode.

“Brand owners need to acknowledge that times have changed. Shoppers expect bargains and are being more considered in their purchasing.

“The retail landscape has shifted: although still relatively small, the discounters are growing and more and more shoppers are adding them to their repertoire. So, considering these changes, brand values may also need to flex to make sure the brand stays in touch with its showroom and shopper.

“Vanity is simply too expensive to maintain in the current climate.”

Published on Monday 18 March by Editorial Assistant

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