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RETAIL TRENDS

Smaller brands are increasing in popularity in post-Covid world

By our News Team | 2022

Locally made products from smaller, ‘authentic’, brands are striking a chord with cash-strapped consumers, new study finds.

According to the latest study released on Friday by global information services company NielsenIQ, 58% of South African consumers say they’re buying a greater variety of brands than they were before Covid-19. 

Shoppers are also largely in search of their perfect brand match, with 76% of respondents feeling that, if they look hard enough, they can find a brand that fits their exact needs.

Retail Trends

Photo by Kevin Malik from Pexels

These findings appeared in NielsenIQ’s Brands Balancing Act study, 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:

  • 55% of South African consumers prefer to buy locally made products from small businesses in their area.
  • 62% try to support small brands where possible, but are finding it harder to find them on the shelf.
  • 48% feel that small brands are more authentic and trustworthy than big brands.
  • 43% think that small brands are usually more expensive, but consumers are prepared to pay a bit.

Great market opportunity for small brands

Lauren Fernandes, Global Director of Thought Leadership at the company notes that, despite being often being largely unfamiliar to shoppers, small- and medium-sized brands have a great opportunity in today’s changed consumer landscape. 

“Our data shows that the pandemic has changed consumer needs, values and priorities – and this has had a significant impact on their buying behaviour,” Fernandes explains.

Amongst the list of reasons to buy a brand, good value for money (97%), availability (96%) and a satisfying customer service (95%) are of utmost importance when making their purchasing decisions, the study found.

As prices continue to rise across categories, affordability is a top reason backing this trend in functional buying.

“With 48% 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. The key will be finding the right levers, based on the right consumer data, to innovate within this space.”

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