Are European consumers open to foreign brands or do they mostly prefer domestically produced goods and services?
What factors have the biggest impact on their choice?
To check this, the research company Gradus Research conducted a survey of consumer attitudes in seven European countries (Poland, Germany, the UK, Italy, France, the Netherlands, and Ukraine).
So, what trends can we talk about based on the results of the research:
Consumer patriotism: Brands of which countries are preferred by consumers?
It is quite clear that every country loves its own manufacturers. Consumer patriotism shows to be very high in the surveyed countries. What is more interesting are the countries of the second choice. Goods produced in Germany, the USA, and France are at the top of consumers’ preferences. Quite a large share of brands from these countries is desirable for Europeans.
In general, the surveyed countries can be split into three large categories: the first is countries that are open to foreign manufacturers.
- Ukraine, Poland, and Italy belong to this group, as a large share of brands from other countries is accepted by their consumers.
- The Netherlands and Germany are among moderate countries, there is great loyalty to local manufacturers, but they consider buying brands from other countries at a high level.
- The third category — markets closed to foreign producers — the UK and France. They show themselves as patriotic consumers who first of all pay attention to their brands and do not really want to buy foreign goods.
What influences the choice of the manufacturer’s country? What do consumers pay attention to?
The factor of high quality is the most influential and it is in this field that countries compete with each other. In almost all countries, Germany, the USA, sometimes France, and sometimes the UK, are the top choice. Very often these are neighboring countries, for example, Germany is the second choice for the Netherlands and France. However, Ukraine and Poland generally put Germany first, considering that these goods are of the highest quality.
If we consider the price attractiveness factor, then China gets at the top. In fact, in all countries surveyed, it is a very significant player.
The attractiveness of brands in terms of distribution is an important factor too. Distribution in the surveyed countries depends on specific companies and individual networks that have been developed. For the UK it is China and the USA that are the most preferable, for the Netherlands it is Germany and China, for Italy — the USA and China. We see a large presence of China also due to online trade and other sales channels filled with Chinese goods.
„In general, the research data shows that Europeans tend to choose local brands of their countries, this is the norm in Europe: the British prefer British products, the Germans prefer German products, etc.,” says Evgeniya Bliznyuk, sociologist, CEO & Founder of Gradus Research. – „The main driver of the choice is the perception of the country as a high-quality producer. It is a country brand, consisting of a large number of brands and specific products, that works in general for the country as desired for purchase.”
The full survey report is available on the Gradus Research website.
The survey was conducted by the research company Gradus Research using the method of self-filling the questionnaire in the mobile application. The target group of the survey: male/female aged 18-60 living in the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Poland, and Ukraine. The number of productive interviews: the UK n=103, Netherlands n=101, Italy n=101, France n=101, Germany n=99, Poland n=102, Ukraine n=1151. Survey period: Ukraine: February 17-18, EU countries: February 22-24, 2023.