The Relationship Between Italian Consumers and Brands
(not only coffee brands)
Brand reputation and consumer initiatives are increasingly more decisive factors in choosing a brand. The relationship with consumers is fundamental: 83% of Italians, in fact, are subscribers of a loyalty program.
Loyalty programs have an impact on the choice, relationship and frequency of purchase of a coffee brand: coffee is indeed in second place in the list of product category in which brand loyalty wins.
To understand how people approach the shelf, why they choose a brand over another and what are the levers that guide today’s consumers, BVA Doxa has created an Observatory entitled “Italians and the relationship with brands” for Nescafé Dolce Gusto. Loyalty, reputation and value-added initiatives are the three assets that emerge from the analysis of the main purchasing levers for Italians, in particular in the world of coffee, in second place among the product categories where brand loyalty wins.
BRANDS’ REPUTATION DRIVES CONSUMERS’ CHOICES – The brand is an important and relevant element when shopping, especially in during this year when the particular times have strengthened the bond with beloved brands, increasing brand loyalty (for 22% of consumers). Italians value their relationship with a brand by giving importance to its values and its concrete actions. A recent example is the health emergency, which led to an increase in attention towards the reputation of brands (over 40%), with a decisive impact on the choice of purchase, in particular for families with children under 14.
Compared to the period prior to March, today the Observatory detects a new way of grocery shopping: Italians shop less often (44% of respondents buy more products and 46% spend more) and they value local shops more. The heavier cart and the reduced shopping frequency require a greater attention to the wallet: indeed, 46% have in fact increased the purchase of promotional products.
At the same time, people have sharpened their attention towards some factors that guide spending and the choice of products: quality is an essential fact for today’s consumers, that are aware and informed and approach consumption with increasing attention to the labels and the list of ingredients (72%).
Moreover, today more than ever consumer seek confirmation on the quality of products (68%), also intended as reassurance on the origin of raw materials. Finally, 53% reward brands that have launched initiatives to support consumers and society in such a difficult period by purchasing their products.
BRANDS ARE REWARDED WITH LOYALTY – According to the results, 83% of respondents state that they subscribed to a loyalty program and, among those not yet enrolled, 29% are inclined to sign in in the future, reflecting the importance and spread of the phenomenon in our country.
On average, Italians subscribe to almost five loyalty programs, and the reasons that push people to sign up are, in the top 5: obtaining useful rewards (58%), saving (49%), recognition of loyalty (30%), stimulation to buy (20%) and fun (17%). The preferred premiums, on the other hand, are generally discounts on purchases (69%), gift cards (52%) and technology / small appliances (43%). Rewards are also a fundamental driver of loyalty programs: their accessibility, or the threshold to be reached with the points accumulated, weighs on active participation, and becomes also a barrier to the enrollment for 26%. Finally, loyalty programs are also an excellent topic of conversation so much so that 77% of people in our country spread the word about loyalty programs with friends and family.
LOYALTY IS EVEN STRONGER IN THE COFFEE SECTOR – These trends are even stronger and more consolidated in the coffee sector, where Italians place great importance on loyalty. First of all, from the point of view of product categories, loyalty to the coffee brand stands at 76%, a very important figure close to other categories such as pasta (78%) and products for hygiene and personal care (75%). Those who favor a loyal behavior towards coffee brands are mainly people over 55 (84%) and living in Southern Italy (82%).
Knowledge of the loyalty programs promoted by coffee brands still has a lot of room for expansion and 79% of Italians believe it is appropriate for coffee brands to promote such initiatives. In fact, when they have to choose the brand of coffee to buy, 56% are positively influenced by the presence of a loyalty program. From a relational point of view with the brand, 63% believe that loyalty programs contribute to improving the relationship with their usual coffee brand. Purchase frequency also tends to increase when participating in a loyalty program (48%).
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