What’s new? Malaysians say yes to trying new brands

What’s new? Malaysians say yes to trying new brands

Rise of "newism" comes at the expense of brand loyalty

Brand loyalty is no longer a given these days, and marketers who are banking on the loyalty of their customers may need to reassess their strategy. 

Today, consumers across the globe are experiencing the acceleration and amplification of information, excitement, and experiences like we’ve never seen before. This has led to a constant craving for novel, niche and enhanced products and services.

It is no different in Malaysia, as rapid urbanisation, high connectivity and a booming retail landscape have provided consumers with more choice than ever before. And while choice is good for consumers, it could spell bad news for brands as they have to work twice as hard to keep the attention of consumers.

Curious malaysians crave newism

Malaysians’ curiosity and ever-changing interests are driving their buying habits, which means that manufacturers can no longer rely on their brand equity to drive sales.

Just 9% of Malaysians consider themselves to be committed loyalists when it comes to their favourite brands. Meanwhile, a significant 44% say that they love trying new brands and products, while a further half (47%) – while preferring to stick with brands they know – can be moved to experiment given the right factors.

Today, 44% of consumers say that they are now more likely to try brands that they’ve never tried before compared to 5 years ago. A further 22% say that they now have a repertoire of brands, but tend to stick to the ones they’ve tried. Only a third have not changed their shopping habits over the past 5 years, and continue to choose their favourite brands every time they shop.

We can only expect this desire for new products and experiences to increase over time, so brands must quickly adapt to this changing mindset or risk losing share of wallet. 

Disloyalty comes at a price

Malaysians love a good deal. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that monetary factors are the main drivers of brand switching, with nearly half of Malaysians (49%) saying that they are always swayed if a product demonstrates value for money, while 47% will switch for price reductions or promotions.

Brand equity does still have some value in Malaysia, to a smaller extent, with a third of Malaysians willing to switch to a brand that is well known and trusted. However, a product’s price point will always be a factor, which is why brands must get the price and value equation correct in order to win the share of wallet.

brand strength AND REPUTATION still relevant

Price is not the be all and end all, and while it may be key factor in driving Malaysians’ purchase behaviours, there are also other factors that consumers’ will take into consideration when making a choice.

The good news for brands is that, after monetary factors such as price and promotions, the third biggest consideration for Malaysian shoppers is the strength and confidence that is associated with a trusted and familiar brand (35%). 

As such, companies should lean into the strength of their brands, and continue to highlight the brand’s relevance in the context of solving consumers’ needs. In a world where personalisation and individualisation matters, brands should capitalize on the ability to generate personal dialogues with consumers through social media, while also allowing prospects the opportunity to provide feedback. These efforts will go a long way in fostering consumer acquisition and retention.

So even though disloyalty is the new normal, you can prevent your brand from falling victim to it.