Can Americans be bothered to get a better deal? It depends
July 28th, 2023, Christien Pheby

Can Americans be bothered to get a better deal? It depends

A fair amount of marketing and advertising makes a pretty simple argument: “We’re better/cheaper/more convenient for you than the competition.” There are famous counterexamples – see Avis’ “We’re Number Two. We Try Harder” campaign from the 1970s – but for the most part, companies want you to think they’re giving you a better deal than the competition.

So it's worth asking: How effective is this argument, really? How likely are Americans to make a change? YouGov Surveys data shows that, when we ask the public in a broad sense whether they are motivated to switch to a better product or service, two-thirds (66%) say they are. But when we ask about specific products and services, people are less eager to make the jump.

Americans are most keen to change their internet service providers: 45% say they are on the lookout for something better, compared to 46% who are not. It’s a similar situation with medical services such as doctors and dentists: two in five (40%) are motivated to switch, but half (50%) are not. The US public are third-most likely to consider changing supermarkets, although half (51%) would not. Insurance providers come in fourth (40% motivated), but consumers are still more likely to stick with what they have (48%); the gap is even wider when it comes to banks (36% vs. 54%).

Across every other product and service, it’s the same story. Looking at tech and telco, people are more likely than not to stay with their phone networks (40% motivated vs. 50% unmotivated), phone manufacturers (38% vs.52%), internet browsers (35% vs. 54%), laptops/PC brands (34% vs. 51%), and software (27% vs. 44).

Looking at leisure and media, American motivations to change streaming services (38% vs. 44%), social platforms (33% vs. 49%), cinema chains (20% vs. 43%), gyms (20% vs. 31%), newspapers (21% vs. 32%), and video game consoles (22% vs. 29%) follows a similar pattern.

So whether you’re a new brand looking to make a mark on your chosen industry or an established brand trying to muscle in on a competitor, you face a similar problem: consumers are more likely to resist change than embrace it – even when they’re offered something better.

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YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on June 2-5 2023, with a nationally representative sample of 1196 adults in the US (aged 18+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted to be nationally representative. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

Photo: Getty