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How New Zealanders decide to buy

How New Zealanders decide to buy

New research shows New Zealanders' purchasing decisions are influenced most by price and quality.

However, 11 per cent of purchasing decisions are influenced primarily by consumers' perceptions of goods' and services' environmental, human and social impacts.

In a national ShapeNZ survey of 3535 respondents, conducted between February 26 and March 25 this year, respondents were asked to choose one only of six possible responses on what influences how they decide to buy.

In forming an opinion about the environmental, social or ethical aspects of a brand, personal experience of a product or service has the most influence (42%).

Brand advertising influences only 8%, while independent expert reviews (18%) and other information provided by the brand about environmental and ethical matters drives 13%.

Some 82% answer "no" when asked if they can think of one brand in particular that stands out for being better, from an environmental, social or ethical perspective.

Some 87% cannot think of a brand that stands out for being worse from an environmental, social or ethical perspective.

The research indicates that business' performance among a significant 11% of the market is influenced by sustainability issues (environmental, price and human impacts) other than price and quality, according to the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development, which runs the ShapeNZ research service.

Earlier research shows 32% of New Zealanders will buy from a more sustainable supplier for the same or similar price.

Business Council Chief Executive Peter Neilson says the results highlight the need for businesses wanting to keep or grow market share to adopt sustainable best practice.

"It's not only about price and quality, but making products and service do the best for the environment and people. Currently, New Zealanders can't tell the 'good guys' from the not-so-good.
"The potential for New Zealand business is seen in the fact that only 18% can currently nominate a brand that stands out from an environmental, social or ethical perspective."

Results of the purchasing influence survey of 3535 respondents are weighted to reflect a representative population sample compared with the 2006 census.

Results are weighted by age, gender, personal income, employment status, and party vote 2005. The maximum margin of error at a 95% confidence level is +/- 1.6%.

Detailed results are at


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