ECONOMY

‘Own brands’ are popular

Consumers’ increasing interest in own-brand products, i. e. products made by or for the supermarkets selling them and bearing the chain’s name, may well be due to more than just financial meanness; it may be linked to the demystification of well-known brands, the limited effect of advertising and the return to better buys, a quantitative survey by the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB) has found. The survey showed that consumers have a positive impression of own-brand products, with almost one in two believing they are as good as the well-known brands, although their preferences focus on specific product categories. Crucial for consumers is their impression of each supermarket. The educational level of consumers also has an effect on their choice of supermarket brand products, as those questioned with university education show a greater preference for these products. A similar pattern emerges in terms of the income brackets and the professions of those questioned, with own-brand products being mostly favored by those with a monthly income above 2,000 euros. «These demographic patterns are reversing certain stereotypes and are verifying trends noted in other European countries’ data,» says Giorgos Baltas, an alternate professor at the Marketing and Communication School at AUEB, who performed the statistical analysis of the findings. A massive majority of the sample (95.4 percent) believe chain brand products have better prices. On the issue of quality, 45.2 percent believe own-brand products are as good as those that are better advertised, 44 percent deem they are not as good and 10.8 percent suggest own-brand products are better. Figures in different product categories are quite revealing of the imbalanced intentions of consumers. While own-brand products are preferred by 75.5 percent for purchases of kitchen and toilet paper, 64.5 percent in food and 45.9 percent in home cleaning products, own-brand cosmetics are bought by just 1.7 percent and non-alcoholic drinks by 7.1 percent. «Generally, products with high flexibility in price and low flexibility in demand, compared to the other marketing policy variables, influence purchase intention,» Baltas stresses. These figures, according to the survey, may point to a corrective movement toward economy, being made via greater specialization by producers. «Enterprises with low marketing and an efficiency in innovation are restricted to a number of predetermined products, whose marketing is left to the retailers,» he suggests.