Aussies and Kiwis say they’re less influenced by brand than global average

A new report from Nielsen has highlighted that marketers in Australia and New Zealand may have their work cut out for them when it comes to marketing premium brands.

The study found that three in four Chinese consumers say they are willing to spend more on designer goods (the highest globally), but just a quarter of Aussie consumers and 17% of those in New Zealand say the same, and would be happier purchasing the unbranded version of the product with the same function.

When asked if they like to buy products from famous brands, one-third of Australians and New Zealanders agreed (32% and 31%, respectively), lower than the global average of 47% and significantly lower than the Asia-Pacific average of 55%. India topped the scale globally with 74% of respondents saying they like to buy famous brands.

The Nielsen survey of more than 29,000 internet respondents in 58 countries  also examined the role advertising has on influencing consumer purchasing decisions.

Globally, more than half the respondents agreed that commercials increase their preference for buying a brand. However, only one-third of Australian and New Zealand consumers agreed with this statement.

Suzie Dale, head of Nielsen Pacific’s Brand Practice, says on the outcome of the results, “Aussies and Kiwis have a real sense of needing to obtain value when buying goods. We tend to have a cynical side when it comes to advertising and branding, and like to see ourselves as ‘intelligent shoppers’ who aren’t won over solely by marketing claims but instead buy a product based on merit and the value it offers.

“The rise of private label goods in our supermarkets underpins this requirement – we generally need to believe a more expensive product will offer a tangible quality that makes it better, otherwise we’re often unwilling to pay more for it.”

“This also means that marketers in Australasia really need to understand what motivates purchasers to buy their goods, and hone in on these qualities in all aspects of brand promotion – from advertisements to packaging and point-of-sale. Status cues alone will fall short and instead premium brands need to communicate deep insight into purchaser’s lives.  A product needs to show it will enhance a consumer’s life  and is the ‘intelligent choice’ – for example a tastier cake, or a car that is luxurious but also uses less fuel and will look good for longer,” says Dale.

When it comes to buying famous brands India topped the scale globally with a whopping 74% preferring to purchase a well known label, the Asia Pacific was 55% with Australia and New Zealand coming in well below the global average of 47%, with only one-third agreeing they would choose a flashy brand over a bargin basic.

“While brands in Australia and New Zealand may need to work harder to sway shoppers based on marketing claims, this can also result in increased loyalty if a product meets expectations and really satisfies a customer’s need. These needs can also vary depending on what a consumer is looking for – be it a very fashionable outfit, the best quality materials, organically produced goods or a unique foodstuff.

“The key is for most Aussie and Kiwi consumers, a brand needs to be more than just the external packaging and promise – the product needs to match customer expectations and fulfil their requirements as an intelligent, savvy and informed shopper,” adds Dale.

“Premium brands therefore need to work harder in Australia and New Zealand, and not rely on just their ‘premium’ status as a famous brand.  ‘Premium’ has to deliver more authenticity and better quality to entice the majority of our buyers,” she says.

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Source: Nielsen


  • JesseK

    Could it have something to do with that said brands cost so much more here than anywhere else? The price of a lot of things is getting ridiculous in Australia in particular, I’m guessing more people are happy to settle for stock or unbranded stuff because of the price difference.

  • Greg Cornelius

    As a dual Australian and NZ citizen who lives in Asia I have noticed the cultural difference in brand perception exactly as reflected in the study. Over the years I have given some thought to why things are like this. My conclusions are:

    1. Brands are used to establish visible wealth and status. This is most useful in developing countries like China where the differential between rich and poor is the greatest. It’s useful for aspirational types who have a chip on their shoulders about elevating themselves above their poor origins. Luxury brands say ‘I made it’.

    2. People who are unsure of their own place and identity buy a luxury brand because it is provides a ready made identity for them. It gives them self esteem. Brands are a kind of insurance. I like that analogy: brand premium/insurance premium.

    Aussies and kiwis need brands less because….

    1. Australia and NZ are egalitarian cultures. Aussies and kiwis live in the ‘new world’ where social class and the gap between rich and poor is not as structured and established the old world.(this is a good thing).

    2. We associate luxury brands with European ideas like aristocracy and inherited privilege; ideologies which (partly) caused many of our ancestors to leave Europe. We resent those things.

    3. Australia and NZ are first world rich countries. We don’t need to buy an identity or sense of style from a brand. We are comfortable in our skin.