Beauty and personal care consumers favor global brands

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Beauty and personal care consumers favor global brands
According to new data from performance management company Nielsen, the cosmetics industry is unique when it comes to how consumers value a brand’s country of origin.

The Nielsen Global Brand-Origin Survey results came out this week, and the company is highlighting its finding that, for almost 75% of consumers, where a brand is from matters at least as much as do function, quality, or price.

30,000 consumers from 61 countries responded to the online survey, which as Nielsen’s press release explains, “examined whether consumers prefer goods produced by global/multinational brands (defined as those that operate in many markets) or by local players (those operating only in a single market—the ​respondent's home country).”

Regional variations

In North and South America, not nearly as many consumers prefer to purchase local brands as do their counterparts in other regions​an interesting fact in light of the rise of indie brands.

Over 30% of survey respondents in the Asia-Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East indicate that brand origin is a more important reason for purchase than function, price, etc. In North and South America, that same percentage says origin is a less important factor. 

“In a crowded retail environment, brand origin can be an important differentiator between brands, but sentiment varies by category and by country,”​ Patrick Dodd, group president of Nielsen Growth Markets, tells the press.

He goes on to explain that while the survey results are informative,leveraging a powerful brand presence needs to be managed carefully regardless of whether it is global or local.” ​And, “ultimately, the brands that deliver on a strong value proposition and connect personally to consumers’ needs will have the advantage in any given market.”

Beauty stands out

Consumer preference indeed varies by industry. Nielsen found that in fresh foods, for instance, local is overwhelming the top consumer choice worldwide. For beauty however, availability, perceived quality, and a legacy of influence (say from French beauty, US beauty, or Korean beauty) make a real difference.

Nielsen reports that for cosmetics and personal care, consumers from every region prefer multinational brands. This is true for razors, shampoo, conditioner, cosmetics, and deodorant, according to the new data. And with the exception of consumers in the Asia-Pacific region, multinational toothpaste, hand and body soap, and hand and body lotion brands are also the predominant choice.

Dodd believes beauty brands have unique advantages. “Global brands are able to leverage their scale and expertise, research and development capabilities, and strong brand equity to provide high-quality and innovative personal-care products to local markets around the world,” ​he tells the press. “In addition, in some markets, the number of local brands is limited for nonedible categories, so consumers naturally gravitate to offerings from global brands because they are widely available.”

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