UK consumers are less brand loyal when trying new products

Friends and family have the biggest influence on buying new products Internet has the greatest influence on purchases of new electronic and appliance products

Contact: Neil Beston, Tel: 020 3103 3959

LONDON – 22 January 2013 – When it comes to new product launches, UK consumers (with internet access) are more willing to consider switching to a new brand (59%) than consumers globally (50%), according to a new study from Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy.

The Nielsen Global Survey of New Product Purchase Sentiment – which surveyed more than 29,000 internet respondents in 58 countries 1 – shows that over half (52%) of UK consumers say they won’t purchase an innovative new product until it has proven itself. Britons are less cautious about needing this proof-of-concept than consumers globally (60%) and across Europe (58%). Forty percent of Britons say they prefer to buy from a UK brand rather than a large global one.

“Innovating on established brands that are already trusted by consumers can be a powerful strategy,” said Johan Sjöstrand, European managing director of Nielsen BASES, which helps clients grow through innovation. “Companies spend millions on new product innovation, yet two-thirds of them won’t survive beyond three years.”

Importance of value in new product success

According to Nielsen’s survey, 59 percent of UK respondents say they would consider ‘value’ or ‘store-brand’ options - fewer than across both Europe (66%) and globally (64%). Furthermore, 40 percent of Britons report that challenging economic conditions make them less likely to try a new product and only 25 percent are willing to pay a premium price, whereas 29 percent of Europeans and 39 percent of consumers globally are willing to do so.

“Consumers are willing to adopt new product and brand innovations provided there is a strongly perceived value proposition. Without this, any product innovation will face an uphill challenge to stay on the shelf, especially given the tough economic climate” said Sjöstrand. “In order for consumers to adopt new brands, marketers need to launch very strong awareness and trial-building campaigns, supported by a positive product experience.”

Most likely sources of new information

TV ads are the single most important source of information on new products, cited by one quarter (25%) of UK respondents, followed by free samples (21%), internet searching (19%), friends/family (16%) and in-store information (12%).  However, across Europe as a whole, TV ads (29%) and free samples (24%) are a little more likely to be the single most important source of information, whilst internet searching (12%), friends/family (12%) and in-store (9%) are a little less likely to be respondents’ main source.

Biggest influences on purchasing

Nielsen’s review of 21 different ways that consumers learn about new products shows that friends/family have the greatest impact on potential purchasing: 68 percent of UK respondents say this way would make them more likely to buy a new product, compared to 77 percent of respondents globally. Two-thirds (66%) said seeing it in a shop would make them more likely to buy, followed by getting a free sample (59%), internet searching (53%) and TV ads (49%). TV ads are much more influential globally (cited by 59% of respondents).


Based on respondents with online access only. New products are defined as any product not purchased in the past.

The internet has the greatest influence on purchases of new electronics products – 70 percent of UK respondents say it is very or somewhat important when deciding to buy a new electronics product. Almost two-thirds (64%) cite the influence of the internet for new appliance products, followed by books (60%), music (55%) and cars/automotive (51%). The internet has more influence in Europe and globally across all these new product types than it does amongst UK consumers – particularly with music and automotive purchases.

1 Findings based on respondents with online access across 58 countries. While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides perspective on the habits of existing internet users, not total populations. Survey responses are indicative of respondent’s beliefs about their purchasing habits rather than actual measured data.

About the Nielsen Global Survey

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted August 10 – September 7, 2012 and polled more than 29,000 online consumers in 58 countries throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based on the behavior of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60 percent Internet penetration or 10M online population for survey inclusion. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and related properties. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.