Most consumers prefer new products under familiar brands over new brands

When it comes to product innovation, U.S. shoppers aren’t really looking for companies to reinvent the wheel. In fact, companies are more likely to succeed in a competitive marketplace if they build on established brands consumers already know and trust, according to Nielsen. Reporting results from a recent global study, the New York-based market research firm said 62 percent of U.S. consumers prefer to buy new products from a familiar brand than switch to a new brand.

Although brand familiarity is a key consideration among U.S. shoppers, it’s not deal breaker, Nielsen noted. The company noted that U.S. consumers are open to new products — but value and proof of concept are strong purchase motivators. More than two-thirds (64 percent) of U.S. survey respondents said they would consider value or store brand options, and two thirds will wait until a new innovation has proven itself before making a purchase.

Nielsen added that although U.S. consumers like what they know, 61 percent of them said they like when companies offer a new product, and 57 percent said they’re generally willing to consider purchasing a new product. Successful products also are likely to benefit from strong word-of-mouth advertising, as 54 percent of respondents said they like to tell others about the new items they purchase.

“Consumers are enthusiastic about adopting new product innovations, but they’re somewhat apprehensive about embracing new brands,” said Rob Wengel, senior vice president at Nielsen Innovation Analytics. “In order for consumers to adopt new brands, marketers need to launch strong awareness and trial-building campaigns, supported by a positive product experience. Generating positive word-of-mouth endorsements are important, because negative experiences can significantly diminish the likelihood of new product success.”

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