Poll gauges women's brand loyalty

YONKERS, N.Y. According to a new poll released Monday that will be featured in the November 2008 issue of ShopSmart, a publication of Consumer Reports, women are willing to switch brands of over-the-counter medications (68 percent), milk (67 percent) and eggs (67 percent) to save money, but only 29 percent say they would change their brand of pet food.

Now, more than last year, 29 percent of respondents say that they’re buying more generic or store brands; in households with kids the number is 37 percent.

Women are also reluctant to switch cosmetics (30 percent), personal-care items (48 percent) and toilet paper (49 percent).

The poll also found that when it comes to shopping for new appliances, 27 percent of women say that reliability is the most important consideration while the brand falls well behind the other factors in determining which appliance to purchase at 4 percent. However, women are not willing to sacrifice brand name to save money on appliances as only 38 percent of women said they would purchase a lesser known brand to save money.

“We were surprised to find that women are so readily willing to switch medications,” stated Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. “However, I am happy to see that women value reliability over brand when it comes to large purchases such as appliances.”

Conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, the brand loyalty poll is part of ShopSmart’s feature on the best and worst brands, which includes a guide to which types of products are most likely to need repairs, information about whether an appliance is worth repair or should be replaced instead and tips to maintain appliances to avoid costly repairs.

The Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a telephone survey of a nationally representative probability sample of telephone households. As many as 1,006 interviews were completed among women over the age of 18. Interviewing took place between June 26 and June 29.

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