Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Malaysians remain brand loyal despite economic downturn

According to a survey by market research company Synovate, more than three-quarters of Malaysians indicated that they would continue to buy the same brand of consumer products especially fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) like dairy, bread and rice, soft drinks, canned products, healthcare and cosmetic items.

“Brand loyalty continues to thrive, something which advertisers, marketers and brand managers should be pleased to know,” said Synovate Malaysia managing director Steve Murphy in a statement.

Brand switching is more prominent for alcoholic drinks and tobacco products. The survey found that 10% of Malaysians planned to switch to cheaper alcoholic beverages while 5% have already made the change.

Malaysians are spending less on various FMCG products with reduction of 30% for dairy products, 48% for soft drinks, 43% canned products and 28% cosmetic and beauty goods.

Expenditure for staple food items, on the other hand, has stayed consistent. “While a majority of Malaysians remain brand loyal, it’s important to note that they are in fact spending less on some products,” Steve said.

Companies need to step up on advertising and marketing instead of cutting such budget to “remain visible” and position themselves in the minds of consumers, he said.

If the economic conditions were to deteriorate further, consumer sentiment to switch brands would intensify and maintaining brand loyalty would be even more difficult, he added.

Synovate in November interviewed over 1,000 Malaysians from the ages of 15 to 64 across all income levels, as part of its global “State of the Economy” survey. - The Star

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