The rich like to 'spread the word' about brands
Four out of ten adults actively share their brand preferences and opinions with friends and family, with Generation X and higher income groups being the most influential, according to research from Crowd Science.
The JustAsk! survey asked consumers how they feel about the brands they use, their likelihood to try new brands, and their propensity to stick with or recommend brands to others, and found that a surprisingly low 8% prefer to use social media to follow their favourite brands.
Those aged 30 to 49 are the most influential in sharing brand opinions, with 50% of them providing recommendations and sharing preferences with people they know, compared to 42% of those under 30, and 40% of those over 50. Similarly, among those aged 30 to 49, more than one quarter (27%) are sought by others to provide their opinions on brands, compared to 22% of those under 30 and 16% of those over 50.
Consumers with higher incomes also showed more influence when it comes to evangelizing brands. Almost half of all households (47%) earning more than US$50,000 per year agree that they often tell friends and family about brands that they like or dislike - 5 percentage points higher than those earning less than US$50,000. More than one quarter of those with incomes of more than US$100,000 (28%) agreed with the statement, "people regularly ask my opinion about brands" - 10 percentage points higher than those who earn less than US$50,000 and 5 percentage points less than those earning US$50,000 to US$90,000.
Brands and social media Respondents were asked if they regularly follow brands on social media. Overall, just 8% of respondents indicate they do. However, using social media to follow favourite brands is slightly more popular for younger age groups, with 10% of those under 30 and 9% of those aged 30 to 49 following brands on social channels such as Facebook and Twitter. Conversely, only 5% of those aged 50 or more reported following brands using social media.
The proportion of those agreeing that they "regularly follow brands on social media" was higher in households with children (11%) compared to those without (6%), indicating children may have influence on a family's level of engagement and preference when it comes to particular brands.
Some 38% said they stick with a particular brand when they find one they like. This proportion was consistent for both males and females. However, brand loyalty differs across age groups, with brand loyalty being highest among those age 30-49 (at 42%). Brand loyalty is lowest for those under 30, with 33% indicating they would stick to a brand they like, compared to 38% for those over 50. Furthermore, almost one quarter (24%) of those under 30 reported that "they always like to try different brands" compared with only 15% of those aged 30 or older.
Brand affinity Brand affinity is more common among males, with greater numbers agreeing they are willing to pay more for a brand they trust, or that they only buy brand name products when they shop (13% of males agreed they only buy brand name products and services, compared to only 8% of females).
Consumers with high affinity for a particular brand often demonstrate a personal connection to them. Some 16% agreed with the statement "the brands I use say a lot about who I am", with males being slightly more likely to agree compared to females (17% male versus 15% female).