More than half (55%) of consumers who buy online prefer to purchase new products from a familiar brand. They would rather do this than switch brands. This consumer response is revealed in the new ‘Nielsen Global Survey of New Product Purchase Sentiment’ which surveyed more than 29,000 Internet respondents in 58 countries. Brand familiarity seems to resonate strongly in the Asia Pacific consumer. The majority (62%) prefer to wait until a new product or innovation has proved itself before making a purchasing decision. Willingness to switch brands is particularly low in Thailand ( 30%) and Japan (23%). This compares to 56% in Europe and 47% in Latin America.

Sadly, in the Asia-Pacific region, the consumers are less like to consider a local brand than a larger global brand. Part of this is rooted in the Asian consumer’s perception of status in an international brand, says Therese Glennon, Managing Director, Innovation Practice, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. One might also assume that the regular reports on China food products being degraded with unsavoury ingredients might also play a part in this attitude.

Word of mouth advice from family and friends seems to be the most persuasive to our region’s consumers. 81% put this as No. 1 for product purchase. This is a bit higher than the global results (77%). Internet searching was a popular source of information for 71% of respondents. Good old traditional TV advertising still garnered a 60% positive response in this area.

“Innovating on established brands that are already trusted by consumers in Asia can be a powerful strategy for companies who are shifting their attention to consumers in this growth engine market,” noted Glennon.