People around the world place vastly different amounts of value on brand image, according to research [pdf] from Ipsos. Although 52% on average agree that they are generally willing to spend extra for a brand with an image that appeals to them, 43% disagree. And the extent to which people agree or disagree with this sentiment varies widely.
For example, a high of 83% of respondents in Nigeria value brand image to the extent of paying a premium, while a low of 29% in Costa Rica feel the same way. Across 50 markets, there were 28 in which more people agreed than disagreed that they would spend extra for a brand with an image that appeals to them.
US adults surveyed were virtually split on the topic: 46% agreed that they would place a premium on brand image, while 44% disagreed.
Across the almost 50,000 respondents ages 16-75, the proportion willing to pay extra for the “right” brand image was considerably higher among high-income (62%) individuals than their low-income counterparts (46%). Likewise, and possibly in a correlated result, those with a high education level (58%) are more willing to pay for this “luxury” attribute than those with a low level of education (45%).
Part of a brand’s image is the extent to which it engages with social issues, and this can inform the purchase decisions and value that people around the world place on brands, too. In fact, responsible actors can possibly enjoy a premium more than those with an appealing brand image, per the survey’s results.
Almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents overall agreed that they try to buy products from brands that act responsibly, even if it means spending more, while 29% disagreed. Agreement with this sentiment was more prevalent than disagreement in all but 2 countries, Israel and Japan.
Within the US a slim majority (53%) of respondents agreed that they try to buy products from brands that act responsibly, even if it means spending more, while one-third (33%) disagreed. Balancing consumer advocacy and the brand has become a top issue for CMOs, while research has found that the majority of Americans prefer to buy from sustainable brands, despite financial concerns blunting consumers’ sustainability efforts around the world.
Meanwhile, brands’ actions with consumer data can influence trust, and levels of concern around data privacy also vary widely across markets. Overall, 81% of respondents agree that it’s inevitable that people will lose some privacy in the future because of what new technology can do. This recalls research in which some people believe that once they share their data online it no longer belongs to them.
Respondents were split on the extent to which privacy concerns are warranted. Some 45% agreed, while 43% disagreed, that people worry too much about their privacy online and that they are not concerned about what companies or governments know about them.
The US stands out as somewhat of an outlier in this regard. While the net agreement with the above statement was +2% points globally, it was -30% points in the US, meaning that the share of people who disagreed that people worry too much about privacy online was 30% points higher than the share who agreed. The only other country (out of the 50 polled) with that level of difference in disagreement was Japan (also -30% points).
Still, there are somewhat opposing trends present in the US. Compared to a decade ago, more Americans agree that they are concerned about how information being collected about them when they go online is being used by their own government. At the same time, more also agree that people worry too much about their privacy online and aren’t concerned about what companies or the government know about them. Even so, only one-third (33%) of people in the US share this apathetic view.
For more, check out the study here.
About the Data: The results are based on surveys of 48,541 individuals ages 16-75 across 50 markets.