New-Home Shoppers Say Appliance Brands Can Influence Purchase Decision; GE Favored Due to Name Recognition

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A recent Lifestory Research survey of nearly 10,000 households showed that certain appliance brands included in new homes can sway a homebuyer's decision to purchase. 69% of new home shoppers are willing to pay more for a home that includes top brand name appliances.

What hasn’t been examined until now is how shoppers also take note of the brand name products that are included in the home as they seek to make a decision about the home purchase.

Certain appliance brands included with the purchase of a new home are among the features shoppers say can sway their decision to buy, according to research results released today. In the first study of its kind, Lifestory Research polled 9,565 households nationwide, examining how different product classifications and brands influence the buying behaviors of people shopping for a new home.

“When new-home shoppers were asked if they would be willing to pay more for a home that included brand name appliances, we found 69 percent of shoppers telling us that they would be willing to spend more money on a home that includes brand name appliances,” said Eric Snider, president and CEO of Lifestory Research. “In contrast, we found that only 38 percent of home shoppers would be willing to purchase a home that included appliances from a brand unfamiliar to the shopper.”

In a shift away from product usage and satisfaction research, Lifestory Research’s series of national investigations into the role of brands in the home-buying experience are included in the Lifestory Research 2012 Residential New Home Shopper Brand Study SM. Consumer attitudes were evaluated across several product classifications, including appliances, based on the following four key factors: brand awareness, perceptions of quality, importance of product-class brand and overall impression of the brand manufacturer. The appliance research includes shoppers’ evaluation of 23 brands.

“Home buying is a complicated decision-making process that requires the assessment of several features and benefits included in the purchase, typically focusing on location, size and minimum number of bedrooms or bathrooms,” said Snider. “What hasn’t been examined until now is how shoppers also take note of the brand name products that are included in the home as they seek to make a decision about the home purchase.”

He added, “To this end, we know through our research that certain brands included in the home have a direct impact on the purchase decision. The goal of tracking these brands is to provide insight into this piece of the decision-making process.”

Lifestory Research’s findings indicate new-home shoppers’ perceptions of appliance brands averaged 130 on a 400 point scale based on brand awareness, perceptions of quality, importance of product-class brand and overall impression of the brand manufacturer. Brands that were recalled with or without the aid of prompts or names (i.e., unaided versus aided brand recall), as well brands that were evaluated favorably in regards to both impression and the perception of quality, were rated higher in the brand index.

GE ranked the highest on the brand index with a score of 214. Following GE in the rankings are Kenmore (210), Whirlpool (208), Maytag (184), Kitchen Aid (178), LG (169), Frigidaire (163), Viking (152), Samsung (144), Bosch (143), Jenn-Air (140), Westinghouse (139), Amana (137), Wolf (132), Electrolux (120), Hot Point (103), Thermador (92), Fisher & Paykel (73), Gagganeau (65), Dacor (62), Five Star (58), Roper (54), and Asko (44).

Study findings indicate that a few key brands perform well on measures of top-of-mind (unaided) recall. When consumers are asked in an open-end format to share the appliance brands that come to mind, only GE (64 percent), Kenmore (52 percent), and Whirlpool (51 percent) were found to be easily recalled by the majority of home shoppers. The principal of “top-of-mind” recall is that brands that are easily recalled have greater propensities to capture market share since consumers actively can recall the brand.

On the other hand, when customers were shown the list of 23 brand name appliances and asked which brands they had heard of before, 15 of the 23 brand names were recognized by at least 50 percent of home shoppers. “We found that the appliance category is a crowded brand space,” Snider said. “Shoppers were familiar to some extent with most of the brands serving this category.”

About Lifestory Research
Headquartered in Newport Beach, Calif., Lifestory Research is a leading market research firm, providing insight through cutting-edge quantitative and qualitative research, set within the context of life. Lifestory’s client base spans private education, real estate, energy, financial services, medical providers and not-for-profit organizations. http://www.lifestoryresearch.com

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of Lifestory Research.

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Michelle Olson
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