NEWS20 June 2014

Social image and country of origin drive willingness to pay more

News UK

UK — Social image and country of origin are strong price premium determinants, according to new research.

A survey of household food purchasers aged between 20-74 examined the brand image of three staple foodstuffs across fresh, frozen and dried food ranges and representing a market-leading brand, a leading ‘copycat’ private label and a leading discount own label.

Results showed that three brand image factors stood out as strong price premium determinants: uniqueness; social image; and home country origin. In all but the dried foods category, country of origin was the third strongest factor; while corporate social responsibility (CSR) was significant but among the weaker factors on customers’ willingness to pay a price premium.

One of the authors of the study, Johan Anselmsson of the School of Economics and Management at Lund University in Sweden said: “In our view, the important role of social image is the most novel finding in the present study.  It shows that the images that drive loyalty are not necessarily the same as those that drive price premium. This suggests the importance of distinguishing between brand associations that drive price premium and others that drive loyalty.

“We urge both researchers and managers to be more precise on what the objective of building a strong image should be, to obtain a price premium, loyalty or both”.