Follow us


Consumers flock to "honest" brands finds WGSN Barometer

Lauretta Roberts
15 May 2017

Consumers are gravitating towards brands they consider to be "honest" and "affordable" in the current climate of political and economic uncertainty, according to new research from global trend authority WGSN.

WGSN's recently launched brand performance tracking tool Barometer has found that the top 10 most considered womenswear retailers were highly perceived by consumers to be "honest" and "worth every penny", a finding the trend forecaster links to social and political uncertainty.

Top of the table is Next, which ranked highest in purchase consideration, and over-indexed in its perception of honesty by 3.6%. Primark over-indexed in honesty by 8.9%, while Marks & Spencer over-indexed by 9.2%. The top 10 retailers also heavily over-indexed for the image association of "worth every penny." Primark led at 30.5% over-average, followed by Matalan at 22.4% and Asda at 21.5%.


Lorna Hall: "brands are the new leaders"

Head of WGSN Insight Lorna Hall said consumers were looking to brands to be "the new leaders" in the current climate. "Brands excelling in this space are the ones that are re-strategising to put ‘doing good’ at the core of the company, ensuring honesty, transparency and authenticity are the new business metrics. Regardless of the demographic, honesty speaks volume to consumers who are careful and skeptical about where their eyeballs and money go," she said.

"The high ranking of honesty together with affordability shows that both elements are pivotal for consumer consideration – it’s not an either-or situation. Brands who are honest are quite simply transparent on their pricing," Hall added.

The most considered womenswear retailers in the UK where honesty perception was over market average were as follows:

  1. Next
  2. Primark
  3. Marks & Spencer
  4. New Look
  5. Debenhams
  6. H&M
  7. Asda
  8. Matalan
  9. Tesco
  10. TK Maxx

The WGSN Barometer was launched in March and tracks more than 250 womenswear retail brands by surveying more than 120,000 consumers yearly. Subscribers to the service can access results via an online dashboard, bespoke monthly reports and quarterly presentations that compare brand health through an assessment of their own brand versus their peers, and the total market in the US & UK.

"The Customer Perception Map" – developed by management consulting firm Oliver Wyman – uncovers drivers of customer satisfaction and helps brands understand where to invest most effectively to win over customers and market share, according to WGSN managing director Kevin Silk.

"WGSN Barometer was created to give retailers a clear understanding of their position in the market and strategic insight into how this could be strengthened. We found that a lot of retailers track their own consumer perception and growth. Without being able to benchmark their success against the total competitive landscape or identify truly objective insights, there was no clear path to success. Barometer changes that," Silk said.

Barometer results are based on participation from female survey respondents aged 16-74 across the UK and US, tracking over 100 metrics to compare performance on key drivers of customer satisfaction, from offer (shopping experience, range and quality) to value (prices, offers, sales & promotions).

Free NewsletterVISIT