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Customers consider country of origin crucial in selecting brands


Nearly six out of ten consumers believe a brand’s country of origin is at least as important, or even more so, than other factors when shopping.

The Global Brand-Origin Survey, undertaken by global information company Nielsen, asked consumers their preferences between local and international brands in several different categories. 59% said a product’s origin was at least as important as its benefits, while 56% said the same thing comparing origin to taste, and 58% to price.

“In an increasingly borderless world, the ‘made in…’ moniker still matters,” said Nielsen UK’s Innovation leader, Ben Schubert. “One of the more surprising findings is that a brand’s country of origin is at least as important as other purchasing criteria, such as price and quality.”

There were, however, clear distinctions between different categories. Consumers showed a preference for local brands regarding food, while recognised international brands were preferable in categories like technology. For products such as air fresheners, jewellery and clothing, respondents showed no preferences.

“Factors such as price, deals, familiarity and variety are more important to consumers when choosing global brands, whereas product benefits, environmentally-friendly considerations and, of course, national pride are bigger factors for them when deciding to buy local brands,” Schubert continued.

“[This shows that] there are three distinct product classes when it comes to global-versus-local preference. In a crowded retail environment, it’s important that marketers understand how big a role brand origin plays in consumer decision-making and adapt their message appropriately.”  

Published on Friday 06 May by Philip Gallagher

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