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Loyalty’s Green Pastures Across the Big Blue Sea

Few stats may highlight the opportunities for North American organizations expanding abroad than this one: 43% of Chinese consumers strongly agree that they trust foreign brands over their own domestic labels.

That compares with 9% of U.S. consumers, 8% of Canadian consumers and 6% of Australian consumers.

That surprising  finding, and others, are among the results of the 2011 COLLOQUY Cross-Cultural Loyalty Study, which examined the attitudes of consumers in six countries: China, Brazil, India, the United States, Canada and Australia. The goal of the study was to compare consumer attitudes about loyalty in three emerging nations (the former) and three developed nations (the latter).

And it looks like when it comes to trusting foreign brands, the emerging markets are on board. In Brazil, 30% of consumers are more trusting of foreign brands than domestic brands, and in India, the figure is 28%.

The report reveals many other interesting regional findings, including that 71% of Brazilians are optimistic that their economic situation will improve in the next decade. That buoyant figure compares with about 17% in the U.S. and Canada, while in China and India, the figures are 47% and 34% respectively.

This optimism extends to brand loyalty where twice as many consumers in India, China and Brazil agree that “it pays to be loyal to your favorite brand” (24% – 30%) versus consumers in the US and Canada (10% – 12%).

Indeed, the percentage of consumers in India who find that loyalty programs influence their purchase decision is the second highest of all countries we surveyed – 28% of Indians characterized loyalty programs as “very influential,” while in the United States, the figure is 17%.

Organizations looking to launch or enhance existing loyalty programs in emerging markets have a wonderful opportunity. Emerging markets are two times more likely to say that loyalty programs influence decisions about what companies to purchase from.

These findings indicate an important shift in attitudes and unprecedented opportunities for loyalty marketers seeking new frontiers in which to grow. Consumers are becoming savvier and more connected every day, regardless of their location. Their expectations, understandably, are rising in direct correlation.

For more information about the 2011 COLLOQUY Cross-Cultural Loyalty Study, visit http://www.colloquy.com/crosscultural

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