When it comes to product innovation, U.S. consumers aren’t really looking for companies to re-invent the wheel. In fact, results from a new global study from Nielsen suggest that companies are more likely to succeed in a competitive marketplace if they build on established brands that consumers already know and trust. That’s because 62 percent of U.S. consumers with Internet access say they prefer to buy new products from a familiar brand rather than switch to a new one.
While brand familiarity is a key consideration among U.S. consumers, it’s not a deal breaker. Nielsen’s Global Survey of New Products shows that U.S. consumers are open to new products—but value and proof-of-concept are strong purchase motivators. More than two-thirds (64%) of U.S. respondents say they would consider value or store-brand options, and two-thirds (61%) will wait until a new innovation has proven itself before making a purchase.
While U.S. consumers like what they know, 61 percent say they like it when manufacturers offer a new product, and 57 percent say they’re generally willing to consider purchasing a new product. Successful products are also likely to benefit from strong word-of-mouth advertising, as a little more than half (54%) of respondents said they like to tell others about the new products they purchase.
“Consumers are enthusiastic about adopting new product innovations, but they’re somewhat apprehensive about embracing new brands,” said Rob Wengel, senior vice president at Nielsen Innovation Analytics. “In order for consumers to adopt new brands, marketers need to launch strong awareness and trial-building campaigns, supported by a positive product experience. Generating positive word-of-mouth endorsements are important, because negative experiences can significantly diminish the likelihood of new product success.”
Economic factors also play a role in purchase decisions, as 46 percent of U.S. respondents report that challenging economic conditions make them less likely to try a new product. There are those, however, who are willing to shell out a little more for the opportunity to try something new, as 31 percent expressed a willingness to pay a premium price for a new product.
The Nielsen Global Survey of New Product Purchase Sentiment surveyed more than 29,000 Internet respondents in 58 countries.
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.