Why a personal touch matters to Middle Eastern consumers
It’s bad news out there for any brands coasting on name-value alone as new research conducted into the habits and lifestyles of the Middle East’s most affluent residents has found that 77 percent of consumers in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait feel that having a personal relationship with a brand is a major factor in their loyalty.
The findings are from the Global Affluent Perspective, a study conducted by global market research company YouGov into the shopping behavior of the world’s richest households.
Respondents were interviewed about their opinions of and relationships with a range of luxury brands, with research also indicating that 65 percent of consumers in the region find themselves less loyal to brands than they have been in the past. In fact, 79 percent claim the reason they don’t stay loyal to a brand is because there is simply always something better coming out.
In terms of what's actually constitutes as "better", 81 percent of the wealthiest consumers from all three countries agreed that many non-luxury brands now offer a level of quality comparable to luxury brands. Which is again bad news for any brands who aren’t able to separate themselves in the increasingly congested marketplace.
It’s not all doom and gloom for marketers however, as the study also found that affluent consumers in the Middle East are more enthusiastic about buying luxury products than their global counterparts. Three quarters of the affluent from the Middle East said they desire to buy more luxury products in the future, compared to a less-than enthusiastic 42 percent across the 12 other countries surveyed.
Overall, it doesn’t appear that the region’s richest will stop investing in luxury brands anytime soon, merely that they’ve become more far selective about which brands are actually worth the money.