Filipino consumers more brand loyal than global peers, Nielsen study finds

An estimated 80 percent of Net-savvy Filipino consumers would buy new products from familiar brands rather than switch to a new brand, according to a study recently released by market research firm Nielsen.

The trend reveals a higher level of brand loyalty among locals compared to the global trend which shows 60 percent of consumers around the world with Internet access prefer to buy new products from familiar brands.

“Introducing innovations on established brands that are already trusted by consumers can be a powerful strategy,” Nielsen Philippines managing director Stuart Jamieson says in a statement.

“Millions of dollars are being spent on new product innovation by manufacturers, yet two out of every three new products will not be on the market within three years,” he adds.

The results of the Nielsen Global Survey of New Product Purchase Sentiment were obtained from over 29,000 Internet respondents in 58 countries. It shows that brand familiarity is one of several key characteristics that resonate strongly with consumers worldwide.

“To deliver successful new products, marketers and retailers should ensure that they uncover unmet consumer needs, communicate with clarity, deliver distinct product innovations, and execute an optimal marketing strategy,” the local Nielsen chief says.

While 77 percent of Filipino respondents welcome new product options, Nielsen’s survey reveals that 74 percent of consumers prefer to wait until a new innovation has proven itself before making a purchase.

Another 70 percent of respondents say that they would consider store-brand options and 64 percent of respondents say they were “enthusiastic” about such brands.

The survey also shows that 74 percent of Filipino respondents like to tell others about new products that they purchased.

“Consumers are enthusiastic about adopting new product innovations but somewhat there’s trepidation about embracing new brands,” Jamieson says. “In order for consumers to adopt new brands, marketers need to launch very strong awareness and trial-building campaigns, supported by a positive product experience. It is vital that marketers generate positive word-of-mouth endorsements because negative experiences can significantly diminish the likelihood of new product success.”

Economic factors also play a role in purchase decisions with 60 percent of Filipino respondents reporting that challenging economic conditions make them less likely to try a new product.

However, when given a choice, 52 percent express willingness to pay a premium price for a new product.

Nielsen’s survey shows 53 percent of Filipino respondents say they are partial toward local options over global brands, compared to 26 percent of Asia-Pacific respondents who say they do not favor local brands.

Nielsen’s review of 21 methods to reach consumers across various media and advertising platforms shows that a mix of word-of-mouth communication, traditional advertising, and Internet activity are the most persuasive ways to drive awareness. However, potential reach and ease of execution varies substantially.

While 83 percent of Filipino respondents say word-of-mouth advice from family and friends and 82 percent advice from a professional or expert are the most persuasive source of new product information, receiving a free sample (75 percent), traditional television advertising (72 percent) and active Internet searching (69 percent) remain influential.

DFA confirms 2 fatalities in Haiti’s earthquake.

Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed the death of two Filipino’s in the magnitude-7 earthquake that devastates Haiti last week. The two Filipino’s were known as Jerome Yap, a UN Staffer in Haiti and Pearlie Panagui, a clerk in the Office of the Force Commander at Minustah.

Yap’s body, along with the body of Luis Carlos Da Costa, which Yap served as executive assistant, were both found in buried in the building of UN Stabilization Mission that collapsed caused by the earthquake.

While Navy Petty Officer3 Pearlie Panagui was in the 2nd floor of Christopher Hotel where her remains found by rescue operators.

Lieutenant Colorner Romeo Brawner Jr. said there are Filipinos’ still missing, namely Air Force Sergeant Janice Arocena and Army Sergeant Eustacio Bermudes Jr.  Another Filipina, Geraldine Calican, is still trapped in the Caribbean Supermarket. On the other hand, two Filipinas, Grace Fabian and Aurora Aguinaldo, were saved from the Supermarket.

Only 165 FIlipinos out of 700, including 172 are confirmed safe and alive. And Lt. Col. Brawner said all efforts are being done to rescue those who are still missing and hoping more lives will be save.

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2 Pinoys join CNN, YouTube climate video tilt

MANILA – Two Filipinos, both graduates of De La Salle University-Manila, have joined an online user-generated video contest on YouTube that seeks to raise awareness of climate change worldwide.

Paul Darwynn Garilao and Alfonso Orioste, Jr. said the “Raise Your Voice” video tilt is sponsored by CNN, YouTube and the Danish government. The contest encourages individuals to send videos with their views, opinions, and questions about the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark from December 7 to 21.

In an interview, Garilao said producers of the two best video campaigns will have a chance to join the conference dubbed as the biggest convention after Kyoto Protocol. Earlier reports said the United Nations Climate Change Conference will iron out platforms to “reduce global warming emissions and ultimately chart a course that avoids the most severe impacts of climate change.”

Garilao, who finished mechanical engineering and used to work for a local public relations firm, said he was challenged to join the contest after seeing the devastation wrought by Typhoons Ondoy (Ketsana) and Pepeng (Parma).

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Ranks of mahirap increasing

Palace blames downturn, says number could rise due to storms

THE NUMBER OF FILIPINO FAMILIES which consider themselves as “mahirap” or poor has continued to increase this year, a new Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed.

Self-rated poverty — respondents are asked to class themselves as poor, not poor or on the borderline — was at 53% in September, up from June’s 50% and equivalent to some 9.7 million families.

A Palace official blamed the economic slowdown, and raised the prospect of the rate further increasing as two strong storms devastated parts of the country after the poll was staged.

But the result of the latest survey, made exclusive to BusinessWorld, was still lower than last year’s peak (59%, June) and the Arroyo administration’s record of 66% (hit three times, the last being September 2002).

The historical high is 74%, posted in July 1985 during the Marcos dictatorship.

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More Filipinos now in need of jobs, DOLE data shows

MANILA, Philippines – More Filipinos are now in need of jobs, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported yesterday.

Data from the DOLE’s Bureau of Local Employment (BLE) shows a four-fold growth in the number of jobseekers nationwide.

DOLE data recorded a total of 267,793 job applicants nationwide. The figure is four times higher than the 50,000 jobseekers posted five months ago.

The increase in the number of jobseekers was apparently due to the recent surge in the number of workers displaced as a result of the prevailing global financial crisis.

Based on the BLE data, the greater bulk or about 25,000 of the jobseekers are factory workers and production machine operators.

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Filipinos urged to boycott Hong Kong over columnist’s racist remark

MANILA, Philippines – Chip Tsao would go down in the short-term memory of Filipinos, along with Malu Fernandez and the Desperate Housewives slur as one who demeaned hardworking and often harshly treated Filipinos working abroad.

His comment triggered an uproar in the Philippines, with one lawmaker urging Filipinos to boycott Hong Kong for a year. [Read Full Story]

Millions of jobs in Iraq a lure to lift deployment ban

PRESIDENT Arroyo will seriously consider the proposal of Vice President Noli de Castro to lift the ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers in Iraq where millions of jobs are reportedly available, incoming press secretary Cerge Remonde said in an interview over Radyo ng Bayan.

Iraqi charge d’affaires Adel Mawlood al-Hakimh in an article in Arabian.business.com yesterday said his country will be needing “possibly 10 million foreign workers.”

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