Do Look and Style of a Technology Product Matter to Consumers?

Looks Count When Buying Tech Products. Internationally, one in three consumers firmly agree the look and style of a technology product is very important in deciding which one to buy. Firm agreement is highest in Turkey, Mexico and Brazil. Sweden, Belgium and Germany have highest percentage firmly disagreeing.

In anticipation of a number of new technology gadgets being launched this summer, GfK has released international findings on how important the look and style of a technology product is to consumers, in deciding which one to buy.

Across all 22 countries surveyed, one in three consumers (33 percent) firmly agree that look and style is very important, compared to less than one in ten (nine percent) who firmly disagree - and this balance is exactly the same for both men and women.

The looks and style of technology products are most important to those aged 20-29, with 37 percent in strong agreement that looks matter in choosing which product to buy - and only five percent strongly against. They are closely followed by 30-39 year olds (36 percent and 6 percent respectively) and then teenagers (those aged 15-19) who stand at 34 percent and 11 percent respectively. For those aged 50 and over, the looks and style of technology products become comparatively far less important in the purchase decision, with strong agreement dropping to just under a quarter (23 percent).

Consumers in Turkey, Mexico and Brazil want good looking tech

Technology product manufacturers should avoid presenting anything but good looking devices to consumers in Turkey, Mexico and Brazil. These countries come top of all 22 markets for 'looks appeal', with close to half of their consumers agreeing that the look and style of a technology product is very important in deciding which one to buy (Turkey 49 percent, Mexico 48 percent and Brazil 45 percent) - including around a quarter in each country who say they "agree completely" (Turkey 26 percent, Mexico 23 percent and Brazil 25 percent).

In Sweden, Belgium and Germany, consumers are less swayed by looks

In contrast, Sweden, Belgium and Germany hold the highest percentage of consumers who actively disagree that the look and style of a tech product is important in choosing which one to buy. Sweden leads the way on this, with a quarter (26 percent) firmly disagreeing with the idea, followed by Belgium (22 percent) and Germany (20 percent). Delving deeper in those numbers, we find that they include one in ten consumers in each country who go so far as to say they "don't agree at all" (Sweden 14 percent, Belgium and Germany both 10 percent).

Arndt Polifke, GfK's global director for telecommunications, comments, "These findings are valuable because they give our clients the big picture on what different markets and demographics are focusing on, in selecting technology products to buy. For example - which markets will favor a smartphone that's stylish to look at, over other aspects, such as functionality? When we then add in the granular detail delivered by our point of sales data, showing how well specific products are selling in each market and at what price, this produces truly robust and trusted market insight - material that our clients rely on to build their market strategy."

About the study

GfK conducted an online survey (face to face in Ukraine) with over 26,000 consumers aged 15 or older in 22 countries. Fieldwork was carried out in summer 2014. In the countries surveyed online, the data have been weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population age 15+ in each market. In Ukraine, where interviews were face to face, the study is representative of the top-tier urban population aged 15+ excluding the lowest SES levels and was restricted to people who used the Internet within the last 30 days. The countries included in this press release are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, UK, Ukraine and USA.

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