The popularity of branded promotional items shows little signs of abating – according to the Centre for Brand Analysis (TCBA), shoppers still wanted brands, despite the economic downturn.

“People are still generally wanting to buy brands” despite tough economic circumstances, is the message from the centre.

A recent research study of 2,000 consumers into shopper behaviour by marketing agency Haygarth revealed that 71 per cent of shoppers now say that they see little or no difference between brands and own label products in supermarkets.

But Stephen Cheliotis, director and chief executive officer of TCBA, said while high inflation and other forms of economic hardship are a “key motivator” for consumers ditching preferred brands for more generic products, the emotional ties between big brands and consumers remains strong.

“From an emotional perspective brands like Heinz have a lot of goodwill with consumers that is hard to erode, even in difficult economic times,” he explained.

As such brands can still be successful due to their emotional potency, and “innovating and doing something original” will help businesses to maintain an edge despite the downturn, he said.

So – time to distribute those promotional pens?

Posted by Robin McCrink