The four SMB consumers - NIQ

The four SMB consumers


The four SMB consumers

By better understanding consumers, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) around the world can formulate more effective strategies to connect with their audience.

What do your consumers want?

Understanding your consumer is one of the key pillars to success as a business, while segmenting consumers is one of the most effective ways to view your consumers and adapt to their needs. Why? Because it can help you: 

  • Target your messaging 
  • Tailor your products effectively 
  • Improve your distribution process  
  • And most importantly, it saves you money by prioritizing your budget spend 

Consumers can be segmented in many different way— by their budgets, decision-making processes, or even geographic locations.  

NielsenIQ’s global study, the 2022 Brand Balancing Act*, highlights which consumers present the greatest opportunities and how to connect with what matters to them. 

Consumer needs and reasons for choosing a brand have fragmented as the retail landscape has grown more polarized. With that in mind, it becomes imperative to dive deeper into the mindset of these different brand buyers. Strategies fueled by the specific motivators and values across the brand preference spectrum are most likely to succeed.  

Let’s take a closer look at the various types of brand buyers that exist today.

Connecting opportunities to consumer brand preference 

When asked to identify their usual approach to buying across the consumer goods space, we found that surveyed global consumers fit into one of four key groups of brand buyers:  

  • Agnostic Brand Buyers, or those who don’t think deeply about which brand is behind their purchase  
  • Unintentional Small Brand Buyers, who form the middle-ground of demonstrating “some” preference to buying smaller brands, but only when it’s convenient to do so 
  • Exclusive Small Brand Buyers who claim they prefer to buy smaller brands,  
  • Exclusive Large Brand Buyers, who prefer buying well-known large brands whenever possible  

Big opportunities for SMBs

In the current high-inflationary climate, understanding how to resonate with buyers, how to appeal to their unique needs, and bridging the ways they find affordability is essential.  

In the European Union, 38% of consumers are agnostic in their brand preferences, while 42% in Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Africa and the Middle East indicate they are agnostic as well. This means that the strategic playing field is ripe for even the smallest of brands to scale growth.  

You can learn more about the consumer trends in each region by accessing the reports below.  

Africa and Middle East report
Asia Pacific report
Latin America report
European Union report

Resonate uniquely with today’s brand buyers 

To motivate purchases, SMBs must highlight what is new, different, or locally-unique to cater to the “small brand” space of the preference spectrum. While balancing these important areas, small brands can’t lose sight of the nearly-universal need to be affordable in the current climate.  

Providing value in smaller pack sizes for those who wish to downsize and keeping prices comparable to private labels are two of the many ways to favor one’s bottom line with consumer interest in mind. 

Connect Express Go

Start your segmentation journey today with Connect Express Go—enabling you with the confidence to make data-driven decisions to grow your business

*The NielsenIQ global study, the 2022 Brand Balancing Act, shines a light on core facets of brand choice with a particular focus on how consumers perceive and prioritize smaller brands. The results of this global data investigation have formed the backbone of a simple and essential framework to guide the strategy of small and medium-sized businesses in 2022 and beyond.