Consumers Sacrifice New Products and Usual Brands During Economic Downturn

Recession Challenges Consumers to Change Spending Habits, Marketers to Get Creative

Thursday, April 30, 2009

New York, NY – Consumers around the world are more wary of trying new consumer goods products when they sense the economy is slowing down. This is the finding of a recent Ipsos Marketing, Consumer Goods study on global consumer attitudes and behavior that covered 18 countries around the world. In fact, more than half of global consumers shy away from new grocery, personal and household products during an economic downturn.

Not surprisingly, new beauty products are especially vulnerable during an economic downturn, with 70% of global consumers saying they are not likely to try a new beauty product. Not only are new products at risk of low trial, but established brands are in danger of low repeat. The study showed 80% of global consumers say they are very or somewhat likely to switch from their usual brands to lower-priced brands or brands that are on sale during an economic downturn. Moreover, 72% of consumers say they would switch to store or generic brands.

“It is discouraging to think that new product introductions and carefully planned brand strategies might suffer from bad timing,” says Sunando Das, Vice President with Ipsos Marketing’s Global Consumer Goods business. “But Marketers must remember that innovation and brand management are continuous internal processes that cannot be disrupted by external events, even recessions. That is not to say that these processes should not be flexible and adaptive. During economic downturns, Marketers must uncover new consumer needs and seek out opportunities to fulfill these needs.”

One area on which Marketers can (and must) focus is value. Value is typically a higher priority for consumers during an economic downturn. While pricing does not necessarily need to change, consumer perceptions about expensiveness versus benefits should be explored to make sure consumers think there is a fair trade-off. Consumer behavior resulting from an economic downturn should also be investigated to uncover new product and positioning opportunities.

“Consumers may dine out less often, visit beauty salons less often, and forego outside entertainment such as movie going,” Das adds. “But these possible changes present Marketers with opportunities to offer consumers products that will enable them to replicate these experiences at home for less money. Savvy Marketers will always find a way to fulfill consumers’ changing needs.”

For example, Marketers could offer gourmet-style food that can be prepared in the kitchen, spa products that can give a luxury experience at home, and snack products that can be used to re-create the movie theater experience.

For more information on this news release (including data for specific countries), please contact:
Sunando Das
Vice President
Ipsos Marketing, Global Consumer Goods Sector
+44 20 8861 8180
sunando.das@ipsos.com

Or:

Allyson Leavy
Director of Marketing
Ipsos Marketing, Consumer Goods Sector
(516) 507-3515
allyson.leavy@ipsos.com

About Ipsos Marketing

Ipsos Marketing – The Innovation and Brand Research Specialists – is the Ipsos brand for Marketing Research.

Ipsos Marketing operates under a global structure that brings clients unequalled research expertise throughout their innovation and brand development process. Supported by specialized teams, Ipsos Marketing offers in-depth understanding of the drivers of consumer choice and of the marketing challenges faced by our clients. Our experts provide integrated qualitative and quantitative research solutions, as well as advanced modelling and forecasting techniques that include simulations and linkages to in-market data.

Ipsos is present in 64 countries, with a leading position in both mature and emerging markets. In 2008, it achieved global revenues of 979.3 million euros, Marketing research contributing to 48% of Ipsos’ total global revenues.

Ipsos Marketing is a specialization of Ipsos, a global survey-based market research company that offers expertise in advertising, customer and employee loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research.

Visit www.ipsosmarketing.com to learn more.

About Ipsos
Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals. Ipsos helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world.

Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media. They measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting. Ipsos has a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999.

In 2008, Ipsos generated global revenues of €979.3 million ($1.34 billion U.S.).

Visit www.ipsos.com to learn more about Ipsos offerings and capabilities.

Ipsos, listed on the Eurolist of Euronext – Comp B, is part of SBF 120 and the Mid-100 Index, adheres to the Next Prime segment and is eligible to the Deferred Settlement System. Isin FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP


Consumers Sacrifice New Products and Usual Brands During Economic Downturn

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Contact

Allyson Leavy
Vice President
Ipsos InnoQuest
+1.516.507.3515
allyson.leavy@ipsos.com
Sunando Das
Chief Research Officer
Ipsos MarketQuest
+44.20.8861.8180
sunando.das@ipsos.com