Hongkongers forgiving towards disgraced brands

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 May, 2011, 12:00am


One in two Hongkongers would reconsider a brand within a year of one of its products being involved in a quality control scandal, a new survey finds.

The research, undertaken by Reader's Digest magazine and market research firm Synovate, interviewed 1,000 people in Hong Kong.

Reader's Digest is a monthly general interest publication in the United States.

It found that 46 per cent of the respondents said that if a serious issue over product quality occurred but was fixed immediately, they would consider buying the same brand's products again within a year. Some 70 per cent of interviewees said they would think about using the same brand again within three years of a product scandal.

'Hong Kong is the third most tolerant market among the seven regions we have surveyed in the study,' said Susanna Lau, Synovate's research director.

The study also interviewed another 6,000 people in Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, India, the Philippines and Malaysia.

Nineteen per cent of Hongkongers interviewed said they would never use products from a brand that had been linked with a quality scandal previously. That was the lowest figure of all the places in the region surveyed.

Taiwan was the most tolerant market - at least it had the quickest recovery in consumer confidence in products - with 60 per cent of respondents saying they would buy a brand's products within a year of a scandal.

Thailand came second, with slightly more than half of respondents saying they would reconsider a brand within a year.

The researcher also found that young people in Hong Kong tended to regain their trust in a brand faster, with half of the interviewees between 20 and 29 years old saying they would reconsider a brand within a year, compared with 45 per cent of people aged 30 to 39.

Only one in 10 people aged 20 to 29 said they would never use the same brand again.

Respondents were also asked to name their most trusted brands. Topping the list were Sun Hung Kai (among property developers), Hang Seng Bank and HSBC (for lending and credit cards), Cathay Pacific (airlines) and MTR Corp (public utility providers).