Edelman: Privacy and environmental concerns deter purchases in APAC

Over half of all respondents in Asia claim to be frustrated by constantly being told to upgrade their products

Edelman surveyed 10,000 consumers from the UK, US, Mexico, Brazil, France, Germany, China, Japan, India, and Australia.
Edelman surveyed 10,000 consumers from the UK, US, Mexico, Brazil, France, Germany, China, Japan, India, and Australia.

Consumer concern about the impact of innovation on privacy and the environment in Asia-Pacific stops them from purchasing new products, according to Edelman’s first Earned Brand study.

Between April and May, Edelman surveyed 10,000 consumers from the UK, US, Mexico, Brazil, France, Germany, China, Japan, India, and Australia. The study found that while consumers are embracing innovation at a faster pace than ever before, privacy is the biggest concern for 74 percent in Australia, 55 percent in India and 58 percent in China.

"Marketers in Asia-Pacific are missing out on a simple truth: Acceptance of innovation cannot be bought, it must be earned," said Michelle Hutton, global practice chair, Edelman Consumer Marketing. "As marketers, we have to address consumers’ fears before we have the permission to sell."

The study revealed that a vast majority (92 percent) of consumers view innovation as an essential component of society’s progress. 79 percent feel it is the responsibility of business, and not academics, to drive innovation. Hutton added that consumers want to see more innovation from sectors like F&B, energy and education. Still, 66 percent said business-led innovations are motivated by the desire to make money.

Over half of all respondents in Asia claim to be frustrated by constantly being told to upgrade their products, with as much as 67 percent of Australians making the same claim. All markets studied in APAC say manipulations in advertisements leave them unsure of what to believe, except in China, where only 25 percent of respondents expressed this concern.

Consumers in the region are also more likely to seek reassurance (64 percent) from a brand. But a lack of reassurance from brands is forcing consumers to turn to their peers; 71 percent of consumers in APAC say peer conversations inform their purchase decisions and help them overcome concerns and warn them of product or service risks.

"The peer’s experience with a product’s innovation has become evidence consumers are relying on when them when making purchase decisions," said Hutton. "We are using an old model of persuasion by talking at people, telling them they need to constantly upgrade to keep up with peers. We have mistakenly assumed that consumers will continue to be moved by this."

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