Nielsen: Global Brands Are Winning the Battle for Consumers' Hearts and Minds

Consumer preference for country-of-origin is tipping away from local brands.

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Consumers around the world are displaying a growing preference for global brands rather than locally manufactured products, according to a new study by performance management company Nielsen (No. 32 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list).


The annual Nielsen Global Brand-Origin Report highlights consumers' preference for and sentiment toward products manufactured by local manufacturers versus large global/multinational brands across 34 categories. While the survey findings have pointed to a relatively balanced view across global and local brands in recent years, the latest results show consumer preference is tipping toward global brands across the majority of categories.

Preference for global brands was strongest in the baby wipes/diapers and baby food/formula categories, where just 7% and 10% of consumers, respectively, said they prefer to buy brands from local manufacturers. Other categories where consumers showed low preference for local brands include vitamins/supplements (12% prefer local), pet food (12%), feminine care products (13%), energy drinks/sports drinks (14%), and canned/tinned food products (15%). Conversely, categories where consumers were more inclined to opt for a locally manufactured product over a global brand included dairy products (54%), biscuits/chips/snacks/cookies (32%), ice-cream (31%) and mineral/bottled water (30%).

Categories that saw the most notable swing in preference away from local brands compared to the previous survey conducted in 2015 include mineral/bottled water (down 22 percentage pts [pps] to 30%), instant noodles (down 21 pps to 21%), oral care products (down 15 pps to 18%), laundry products (down 13 pps to 21%), pet foods (down 13 pps to 12%), carbonated soft drinks (down 12 pps to 18%) and baby wipes/diapers (down 11 pps to 7%). The hair care (18%), alcohol (16%) and baby food/formula (10%) categories all saw a 10-pp decline in preference for local brands from 2015.

"In today's world of hyper-connectivity and globalization, consumers have a wider array of product choices than ever before," observes Regan Leggett, Head of Foresight and Thought Leadership, Growth Markets, Nielsen. "Importantly, consumers also have greater access to global brands than they have in the past, thanks to factors such as expanding distribution, e-commerce offerings, and modern trade retail channels. As a result, we're seeing a swing in preference toward the big multinationals.

"Other factors at play include consumer perception around quality, particularly in high involvement categories such as baby care."

At a regional level, market nuances were evident, with consumer preference for global versus local brands varying widely within a number of categories. In the dairy category, consumer preference for local brands was much more pronounced in Africa and the Middle East (73%) and Europe (66%) compared to the global average (54%). In the biscuits/chips/snacks/cookies category, consumer preference for local brands was prevalent in Southeast Asia (50%), Africa and the Middle East (41%) and Latin America (41%) compared to 32% globally. In Europe, consumers were much more likely to opt for local alcohol brands compared to the global average (22% vs. 16%), while Southeast Asian consumers showed stronger affinity for local instant noodle brands compared to the global average (39% vs. 21%).

"The variation across regions illustrates the relative strength of local manufacturers within specific categories, particularly where they are appealing to local consumers' tastes," emphasizes Leggett. "In Southeast Asia, for example, where noodles are a staple in consumers' diets, local manufacturers have been able to maintain a stronghold on the category. Similarly in European markets locally sourced dairy products are perceived to be of a higher quality than imported products."

Leggett concluded: "In an increasingly global world, the battle of the brands comes down to understand consumers' evolving needs, behaviors, lifestyles and tastes. Any brand, be it local or global, that is able to tap into these consumer preferences will be best-placed to win the hearts and minds of consumers in the future."

ABOUT THE NIELSEN GLOBAL BRAND-ORIGIN SURVEY

The Nielsen Global Brand-Original Survey polled more than 31,500 online respondents in 63 countries to understand brand preferences for global/multinational brands (defined as those that operate in many markets) versus local players (those operating only in a single market—the respondent's home country). The online survey was conducted May 9–27, 2016. While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides a perspective only on the habits of existing internet users, not total populations. In developing markets where online penetration is still growing, audiences may be younger and more affluent than the general population of that country. In addition, survey responses are based on claimed behavior, rather than actual metered data. Cultural differences in reporting sentiment are likely factors in the measurement of economic outlook across countries. The reported results do not attempt to control or correct for these differences; therefore, caution should be exercised when comparing across countries and regions, particularly across regional boundaries.

For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

Nielsen: Sixth Asian-American Consumer Report Released at Visual Communications Conference for Creative Content

Visual Communications is a nonprofit whose mission is to develop and support the voices of Asian American & Pacific Islander filmmakers and media artists who empower communities and challenge perspectives.

Originally Published by Nielsen.

In commemoration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), we recently released our sixth report on Asian-American consumers, Asian Americans: Digital Lives and Growing Influence. The report is the first in this year's Diverse Intelligence Series (DIS).

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Nielsen: Redefining Value with Our Second Global Responsibility Report

The second Nielsen Global Responsibility Report published contains forward-looking strategy and goals as a company and outlines how Nielsen's ESG efforts connect to the most critical business issues, including diversity representation and inclusion, and data privacy, security and integrity.

Originally Published by Nielsen.

A MESSAGE FROM MITCH BARNS, CEO, NIELSEN

In our second Global Responsibility Report, we explore how we are expanding what it means to create value as a company.

It's through our holistic approach to cultivating a corporate responsibility and sustainability mindset that we create—and multiply—value for our company, our people, our shareholders, and our world. We recognize that to do it right, value creation must be collaborative, inclusive and focused on the long term.

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Nielsen's Diverse Leadership Network Builds Momentum With Fifth Class And Business Impact Projects

"Each year we induct a new class to the DLN, we're strengthening our diverse pipeline for years to come," said Audrey Yi, VP, Diversity & Inclusion at Nielsen.

NIELSEN

Originally Published by Nielsen.

We recently inducted the class of 2018 for our Diverse Leadership Network (DLN) in Chicago, marking our fifth class of the program. The DLN, a 15-month leadership development program, is our most diverse leadership program and provides opportunities for high-potential, mid-level leaders to learn from senior leaders within the company, collaborate among their peers, and apply their skills to practical business case studies.

The 2018 class includes 40 talented associates from the U.S., Canada and Mexico and across every function of our business. Participants met with their coaches for the first time during the orientation. DLN coaches are senior leaders who guide participants throughout the 15-month program and provide strategic guidance for non-DLN related experiences as well. Some of our more than 90 associates who are DLN alums spoke at this year's orientation event, sharing strategies and tips for optimizing time in the program and enjoying networking and learning from their fellow classmates.

"Each year we induct a new class to the DLN, we're strengthening our diverse pipeline for years to come," said Audrey Yi, VP, Diversity & Inclusion at Nielsen. "Our data from the past five years of DLN graduates shows that, upon graduation from the program, associates are expanding their leadership and influence in our company, as 93% of alumni are in a new or expanded role and 20% have reached the VP/general manager level. Representation of DLN graduates in leadership positions shows that we're committed to infusing diversity and inclusion into everything we do at Nielsen."

DLN graduates are expected to complete business impact projects that will provide process improvements and innovation for our business. That's why we also invited senior leaders to share the company's strategic priorities for FMCG/Retail, Total Audience, Gracenote and more. Participants will use the content of these presentations to guide their problem-solving process on business projects that will be assigned later in the program.

As part of the program's initiative to foster external relationships with clients and other brands, Eugene Campbell, Director, Supplier Diversity and Sustainability for Allstate and Co-Chair of our African-American Advisory Council, gave a keynote address during the orientation. Eugene spoke about the unique opportunity afforded to DLN participants, and how this class should utilize their coaches and other resources to aid in their leadership journey.

DLN IMPACT PROJECTS

Meanwhile, the DLN class of 2017 has continued their development in the program and recently completed four business impact projects that will be beneficial for many aspects of our company and our clients.

Development and Socialization of Multicultural Solutions

A team of DLN participants developed a strategy to both aggregate and socialize Nielsen's multicultural solutions with clients. The team created a multicultural solution roadmap, that points our client teams to the appropriate Nielsen product that helps our clients better reach multicultural consumers. They also created a task force that meets monthly to increase client awareness of our multicultural solutions. This project is essential to our business, because it shows our clients that we know the importance of multicultural consumers and are able to accurately measure their unique consumer preferences and behaviors.

Sales Engineering Process Improvement

Another DLN team created a streamlined process for our data to reach our clients. First, they engaged with both our sales engineers and client service teams to assess the areas where there were opportunities for increased efficiency. Then, the team developed a detailed responsibilities structure, which ensures that tasks are properly allocated and prioritized. The end result of this project is a better flow of information to our clients, which allows us to drive their business goals more efficiently.

Internal Cultural Adoption of Total Audience

A third team worked to socialize and evangelize our Total Audience system for internal associates. The group developed a strategy to both educate our employees and build their interest in our Total Audience measurement, which seeks to measure viewership across the many platforms available to consumers today. By creating this engagement, we ensure that our associates know the best way to incorporate Total Audience solutions into their client relationships and that our clients have access to our best audience measurement tools.

Experienced Hire Talent Assessment Model

Our final DLN team studied Nielsen's need for a way to assess prospective experienced candidates for Nielsen jobs. They helped Nielsen select Pymetrics, a talent assessment company that will use a candidate-friendly, AI-powered, bias-free set of games to assess a candidate's fit for a role.

"The DLN team was instrumental in helping us get to the talent behind what's next, by evaluating the marketplace for talent assessment solutions," said Chris Louie, SVP, People Analytics and Talent Assessment and sponsor of the DLN talent assessment project. "They leveraged their diverse set of experiences—different perspectives shaped by their current functional and geographic homes and their personal experiences as candidates. This provided unique perspectives on what a useful cross-Nielsen solution would look like. This project is a prime example of the superior results that diverse teams can produce when empowered to do so."