Do you find yourself sticking to the same brands in your supermarket shop? Would knowing the owner of that brand make you think differently?
Sparked by a number of requests from Which? Convo community members to discuss brands, we’re wondering what influences your purchases?
Personally, when I’m out shopping I feel that there are a number of considerations I make when buying certain products. There are cost factors, convenience, and then there’s the brand too. I feel quite drawn to certain brands.
Branded and brainwashed?
As the Marmite adverts go, you either love it or you hate it. Well I love Marmite. In fact, I even have my own personalised Marmite jar.
Visually I feel quite drawn to the brand, I even have a water bottle with the Marmite logo on. I really do feel quite loyal towards Marmite.
But I’m not sure if I’d apply the same loyalty towards its parent brand – Unilever. In case you’re interested, Unilever also owns Hellmann’s, Colman’s and many other brands.
Influencing factors for a brand purchase
When we surveyed Which? members last year, 84% felt that it’s important for a brand ownership to be made clear on the packaging. That’s why we revealed in our news story at the end of last year the small brands who are owned by huge companies.
As Which? Convo regular Ian commented:
‘Many consumers buy goods for ethically-determined reasons. This becomes an impossibility if we don’t know the ultimate trader. It doesn’t matter if that trader makes, buys, swaps or re-paints the product: if any aspect of the business owned by that ultimate trader is in breach of what the consumer concerned feels is ethical, then by derivation that taints the brand.’
I’ve never really considered who ultimately owns Marmite. And I suppose that regardless of whether Nestle, Pepsico, or Mars owned Marmite, I’d still buy it.
And that’s the power of a label, as John explained:
‘The practice of putting a quality/classic/traditional brand badge on substandard products has already gone too far on everything from socks to washing machines. Companies are bought up not because the acquirer wants their production lines, or their designs, or their engineers, but because they want their labels.’
But many of our taste tests over the years have shown that the big brands don’t necessarily mean a better quality product. Take the recent Convo on supermarket chocolate for example: our taste test found that supermarket own-brands can be just as good as branded chocolate.
So is it the brand, the cost or the convenience? What is it that influences you to buy particular brands? Would you make a different decision if you knew the owner of your favourite brand?