According to the latest NielsenIQ study, 65 per cent of UAE consumers say they’re buying a greater variety of brands than they were before COVID-19. Consumers are also largely in search of their perfect brand match, with 68% of respondents feeling that if they look hard enough, they can find a brand that fits their exact needs.
These findings appeared in the Brand Balancing Act, which focuses on how inflationary pressures are changing the way small and medium brands can justify their worth and remain aligned to the core values sought by consumers. The analysis also highlighted:
- • 66 per cent of UAE consumers prefer to buy locally made products from small businesses in their area
- • 67 per cent try to support small brands where possible but are finding it harder to find them on the shelf
- • 59 per cent feel that small brands are more authentic and trustworthy than big brands
- • 54 per cent think that small brands are usually more expensive, but consumers are prepared to pay a bit more – this is higher than the global average (47 per cent)
“Despite being largely “unfamiliar” by respondents in terms of notoriety, small and medium brands have a great opportunity in today’s changing consumer landscape. Our data shows that price pressures and the ongoing pandemic have changed consumer needs, and their relative expectations of brands of different sizes,” says Lauren Fernandes, global director of thought leadership.
Amongst the list of reasons to buy a brand, good value for money, product quality and meeting my specific dietary and health needs (all 3 at 90per cent) are of utmost importance when making their purchasing decisions. As prices continue to rise across categories, affordability is a top reason backing this trend in functional buying.
“With 48 per cent of global respondents saying that they plan to buy more from smaller brands in the future, clearly, the small and medium sized businesses who can understand motivators for purchase in this new landscape will most likely benefit from consumers’ updated preferences,” says Fernandes.
“Today’s macroeconomic environment has created a perfect storm for small and medium-sized businesses to connect with consumers. But that same storm could shadow smaller brands before than can scale. The key will be finding the right levers, based on the right consumer data, to innovate in meaningful ways.”