KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — Made in Malaysia products feature prominently in the lifestyles of the country’s Gen Y-ers, largely due to brand familiarity and a sense of national pride, according to a survey on the shopping appetites of Asia’s young.
The survey by Influential Brands, a think-tank of regional branding expert Brand Alliance, revealed that the trend is consistent in the generation’s selection across multiple categories, from cars to restaurants and daily consumables like coffee and biscuits.
Accordingly, the study found that when purchasing biscuits, Malaysia’s Gen Y typically choose brands like Jacob’s, Julie’s, Munchy’s and Hup Seng, all homegrown brands. When picking a new set of wheels, local carmakers Proton and Perodua are their top choices.
In a release accompanying the survey, OUM Business School’s Associate Prof Dr Zorah Abu Kassim said the findings indicate that Malaysian Gen Ys, defined in the study as those aged between 21 and 31 years, are familiar with local brands because they are widely available in the country.
“Many younger consumers are aware and familiar with these homegrown brands or Made in Malaysia products as many of these products enjoy good coverage and advertising in the local media.
“It further indicates that local brands have a prominent presence in local supermarkets, hyper-malls and retail outlets in the country,” the release said.
The survey also said unlike the Gen Y-ers in China, Malaysia’s 20- to 30-somethings are more pragmatic shoppers and typically choose products to help them maintain a well-balanced lifestyle.
China’s Gen Y-ers, however, are more keen on pursuing quality lifestyles through brand choices, and buy more imported and luxury products, it said.
The same study also said that across all five countries surveyed — Malaysia, China, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore — Gen Y-ers displayed a general sense of loyalty towards national and local brands in several categories such as airlines, banks, biscuits, taxi booking apps and online marketplaces.
“We are glad to note that both local and national brands have come out tops in multiple categories in this survey of Asia’s Gen Y,” said Influential Brands’ director of strategy Jorge Rodriguez.
“These results are important because while it’s true that globalisation has resulted in brand convergence i.e. more people showing preference from a basket of internationally known brands, the survey has also revealed our Gen Y’s openness to embrace old and new brands.
“In the above categories, it seems that brand familiarity and national pride are underlying reasons for these Gen Y’s choices,” he said.
The survey, which was a collaborative effort between Influential Brands and Open University Malaysia’s Business School, was conducted via face-to-face interviews and online surveys in the five respective countries’ local languages.
Those aged between 21 to 31 years were surveyed over more than 50 brand categories covering food and beverage, electronics, beauty, wellness as well as fast-moving consumer goods.
In compiling the top brands in Asia, the responses from 6,000 Gen Y consumers were analysed across all five countries, with choices narrowed down to the top five for each category.