How product recalls impact Britons’ loyalty towards tech and telecom brands
August 30th, 2023, Kineree Shah

How product recalls impact Britons’ loyalty towards tech and telecom brands

Incidents surrounding product recalls have made headlines in recent years. Notable examples include the recall of two million Peloton bikes, Bosch toasters and the infamous 2017 recall of Galaxy Note 7. As a testament to the growing concerns, even Amazon felt the need to introduce a dedicated page within customer accounts to alert customers about recalls. But how do these recalls influence brand loyalty, particularly in the electronics and mobile phone sectors?

According to the recent YouGov Surveys: Serviced, nearly one in three Britons are unlikely to buy an electronic product from the same brand again if a product they purchased was recalled (32%). When it comes to mobile phones, the sentiment is slightly more forgiving, with a quarter of Britons expressing the same sentiment (25%).

Placing these numbers into perspective within our broader list, both categories rank nearly at the bottom. The challenge that brands in these sectors face is clear: recalls, irrespective of the reasons, have a marked impact on consumer trust.

But a major chunk of consumers is willing to give brands the benefit of doubt. A significant portion of consumers sit on the fence, choosing to reserve their judgement (27% electronics; 29% mobile phones). Interestingly, more than one-third of Britons will stick with the brand in spite of a recall for electronic products (35%) and mobile phones (39%).

When it comes to the root causes of hesitancy to repurchase from a brand following a product recall, concerns about safety or product quality take the forefront. Two in five Britons cite this as the primary reason for their reluctance in the context of mobile phones (39%), and the numbers rise slightly for electronic products (44%).

Loss of trust in the brand stands as the second most significant factor, with three-tenths of Britons feeling this way for both mobile phones and electronic products (31% and 30% respectively). Interestingly, personal experience with a faulty product ranks third, but at a significantly lower rate (11% for both categories).

Factors such as negative reviews or media coverage, the brand's handling of the recall, past experiences with the brand, and word of mouth hold lesser sway, with each being mentioned by fewer than one in twenty Britons (1-5%).

It's worth noting, however, that not all feedback is negative. A third of those who are very unlikely to repurchase electronics or mobile phones from brands that have initiated recalls still believe brands generally handle product recalls responsibly and transparently (34%).

For manufacturers and brands, the takeaway is clear — while ensuring product quality and safety is paramount, transparent communication and genuine efforts to restore trust can make a significant difference in rebuilding brand loyalty.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on August 24-25, 2023, with a nationally representative sample of 2,115 adults (aged 18+ years) in GB, using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race, and to be representative of all adults in GB (18 years or older) and reflect the latest ONS population estimates. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

Photo by olia danilevich