A s marketers , bra nds are our powerhouse. At the forefront of our promotional activities, brands define our product identity and stand out, ensuring our product is remembered and repurchased. A truly powerful brand can be bought on identity alone. Nike’s tick is all it needs.
However, in the Pacific region, the New Zealand psyche provides us with a challenge. New Zealanders generally need more than just the promise of a brand to drive purchase. They need to know that they will be also obtaining value for money from this transaction.
A staggering 74 percent of Chinese consumers said they would be willing to spend more on designer goods, which is the highest globally. But 17 percent of consumers in New Zealand and 26 percent of those in Australia said they were willing to pay more for designer goods compared to unbranded products with the same function.
The recently released global Nielsen report also examined the role advertising has on influencing consumer purchasing decisions. Globally, 55 percent said commercials increase their preference for buying a brand, but only 32 percent of New Zealand and Australian consumers agreed with this statement. These results highlight what marketers here need to be aware of: New Zealand and Australian consumers have to believe they are obtaining real value when making a purchase, and this generally can’t solely be for the status of owning a particular brand.
Consumers in New Zealand care more about value than status, says Suzie Dale.
And marketers need to understand those purchasing motivations.
This contrasts with emerging markets, such as Asia, where consumers often purchase goods to obtain a sense of belonging. By buying a Gucci handbag, you’re also joining the ‘fashion elite’ and obtaining the status that comes with this. However, in the Pacific, the need for status is much less apparent, and while we might like the extra kudos a Gucci handbag brings, we generally also need to believe this bag will last for many years and be the best-performing handbag we’ve ever owned, since it cost the most we’ve ever paid for a fashion item.
The results show the value proposition is essential to encourage purchase. At the same time, Kiwis and Aussies tend to have a cynical side when it comes to advertising and branding. We like to see ourselves as ‘intelligent shoppers’ who aren’t won over solely by marketing claims but instead buy products based on merit and the value they offer. This presents a difficult balancing act for those involved in brand marketing campaigns.
Marketersin New Zealand 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 to point- of- sale. The value proposition can vary depending on what a consumer is looking for. For example, a brand doesn’t have to be the best quality to encourage purchase, it just has to satisfy the needs the New Zealand consumer is looking for at the time. Therefore, a one- season dress doesn’t need to be made from the best materials or made to last, it just needs to be cost- effective and look good for a few months. Therefore those aspects should be highlighted in marketing activities.
The key for most New Zealand and Australian consumers is that brands need to offer 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.
Written by suzie dale Dale is head of Nielsen Pacific’s brand practice. suzie.dale@ nielsen.com