Global: Consumer perceptions on product durability across different industries
January 5th, 2022, Rishad Dsouza

Global: Consumer perceptions on product durability across different industries

A new YouGov study conducted across 17 markets – ranging from the US to the UK to China – explores whether consumers feel brands within specific industries are doing enough to ensure the longevity of their products.

Overall, packaged foods and beverages wins the biggest vote of confidence, with almost three in five consumers (57%) saying brands within that industry are doing a fair bit or their best to ensure their products last.

Half of the consumers globally also say that automobile manufacturers are putting enough effort to ensure their products are long-lasting (50%). Home appliances (46%) and sports equipment (44%) follow closely behind.

The industries with the most negative sentiment when it comes to durability are cell phones (40%), clothes and accessories (40%), and other consumer electronics (41%).

These results are significant against the backdrop of wider issues and movements related to the durability of these product categories. When it comes to electronics, there are growing concerns around planned obsolesce and movements such as ‘right to repair’ are gaining steam in response. There has also been increased awareness around the perils of fast fashion in recent years, while the recent COP 26 conference has shed more light on the environmental impact of consumption.

There is a stark difference in how consumers from developed markets and emerging markets feel about brand efforts, with the former group far less likely to think that industries are doing enough to support the durability of their products.

For instance, only 29% of consumers in developed markets think that brands are ‘doing a fair bit’ or ‘doing their best’ to ensure cell phones are durable. That figure rockets up to 61% among consumers in emerging markets.

That is the case across sectors, which could indicate that industries in emerging markets are, indeed, producing products to last with respect to their value. However, it could also be a case of how consumers in each type of market view the subject. Either way, it’s an insight that marketers might find particularly useful.

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Methodology: The data is based on the interviews of adults aged 18 and over in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 511 and 2,018 for each market. All interviews were conducted online in September 2021. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Indonesia, UAE, Mexico, China, India and Poland are considered emerging markets. Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, US, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore are regarded as developed markets.