Categories: News and Resources

Katie Ferro


With the festive season ramping up consumers are hitting shopping centres and keyboards across the country to do their Christmas shopping.

Brands often play a big role in consumerism. Some people swear by only purchasing products from one brand; think Apple. Others only care about the cheapest option, and there are consumers who take environmental and ethical concerns or beliefs into consideration when choosing brands or products.

In the third installment of our “Day in the Life” survey series, we asked our Soapbox Panel what they think about when making purchase decisions.

As with our other surveys, participants consisted of an even mix of genders aged from 16 to over 75. Their living arrangements covered all life stages, from single with no children to married or de facto with children who had left home.

Here’s what our research found:

  • 44% of participants highlighted value as a key influence when choosing a brand or product. Value could mean a lot of things to people, from discounts to the customer service options that come with that purchase.
  • Price and saving cash are also priorities! A significant proportion of people surveyed said price was their main concern when it came to picking a brand or product. Saving money has been a key theme that has flowed across various components of this Soapbox Slice survey series with 31% previously telling us they’d pocket a spare $500 rather than spend it.
  • A substantial number of people seem to be aware of where their products are coming from. For 34%, a brand’s country of origin was in the top 3 considerations when buying a product. In turn, this may mean that more consumers are mindful of choosing Australian made brands.
  • Reputation was important to our community with 20% of people indicating that it was their number one priority when choosing a brand or product.
  • It turns out our friends actually do listen when we rave about our favourite brands and products. Around 15% ranked peer recommendation in their top three considerations when they’re on the shopping trail.
  • While many brands like to detail their environmental credentials as a selling point, it was interesting to note that it wasn’t a prominent factor in our community’s decision making: 30% voted it in their three least important influences in their purchasing process.
  • An even smaller proportion of people seemed to care about the ethics involved in a brand’s production. Just 2% said that a brand’s ethical policy was their main concern when making a purchase decision.
  • Product packaging ranked lowest on the decision scale. This is interesting when you consider the amount of time and creative effort that goes into packaging design. The growth in online purchasing may also be relevant in this instance, as products rather than their packaging are more readily advertised.
  • People are willing to choose a higher quality brand over one tailor-made for convenience. Only 5% said that the convenience of a brand or product is the main factor to coax them into purchasing.

It appears our survey participants are in tune financially, ready to scoop up a bargain or make a value purchase wherever possible. This is an important consideration for brands and products with Australian consumer spending exploding to a record $243,348 million in the second quarter of 2017.

While consumer spending is strong, brands and product marketers may need to continue to highlight price and value for money when targeting consumers. The arrival of Amazon in Australia may also mean that price sensitivity in purchasing decisions will continue to increase.