Brand discovery in 2021

Censuswide | Survey Consultants | Research | Research Agency | Corporate Research | Consumer Research | Focus Groups | Brand Perception

Last year, we conducted research which looked at how consumers were responding to brands during the Covid-19 pandemic and it found that almost half of Brits agreed* that they were noticing brand news more because they were reading the news more. While the findings showed a suggested increase in brand awareness overall, this year, we wanted to understand brand discovery in more detail.

The good news for PRs and marketers alike is that over 31 million** Brits hope*** to discover new brands in 2021.

Younger shoppers more receptive to brand discovery

Perhaps unsurprisingly, brand discovery is higher amongst younger generations. For example, Gen Z discovered over four times as many new brands as the Silent Generation in 2020, over three times as many as Baby Boomers and twice as many as Gen X.

Further to this, 7 in 10 (70%) Millennials/Gen Y hope*** to discover new brands in 2020, followed by Gen Z (69%), Gen X (60%), Baby Boomers (45%) and finally, the Silent Generation (25%).

Where do consumers discover brands

A quarter (25%) of Brits said they typically discover new brands via recommendations from friends/family/colleagues, showing that good word of mouth is still very much key. Interestingly, TV/radio adverts came above social media (both adverts and influencers).

However, generational differences for brand discovery vary greatly. For example, Millennials/Gen Y are three times more likely to typically discover new brands via national news articles than the Silent Generation. In addition, while almost 2 in 5 (39%) Gen Z typically discover brands via social media adverts, just 9% of Baby Boomers said the same.

Similarly, Millennials/Gen Y are the most likely to say they typically discover new brands via lifestyle/magazine articles followed by Gen Z, Gen X, Baby Boomers and finally the Silent Generation.

Using consumer research to understand audiences

One way to understand where your target audience will be most receptive to discovering your brand is to undertake consumer research. We also polled Brits to understand their sentiments towards consumer research and again, found this was more important amongst younger shoppers. For example, the majority of Gen Z (51%) and Millennials/Gen X (53%) would be more**** likely to shop with a brand if they have conducted consumer research. Overall, almost 2 in 5 (39%) Brits said they would be more**** likely to shop with a brand if they have conducted consumer research.

Looking at why this is, the top three reasons why respondents1 would be more**** likely to shop with a brand if they have conducted consumer research are:

  1. Because it shows they care about what customers think (49%)
  2. Because they will better understand their customer base (46%)
  3. Because it shows they are invested in their customers (43%)

The data shows consumers value brands that look to understand their customers which can, in turn, help with brand discovery strategies. If you would like to speak to a member of the team about conducting consumer research, or any other research, please email [email protected]


*Statistic combines ‘strongly agree’ and ‘somewhat agree’

**calculated as 58% of 54,098,971 (2019 ONS 16+ population) = 31,377,403

***Statistic combines ‘yes, definitely’ and ‘yes, maybe’

****Statistic combines ‘much more’ and ‘somewhat more’

1Respondents who would be much/somewhat more likely to shop with a brand if they have conducted consumer research

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