brand loyalty, mum, convenience, independentA lot of my time is spent talking to representatives from big companies – as, I’d imagine, is a large proportion of yours as a retailer – about new products and innovations that they have, and how they offer the best category advice.

One of the big recurring themes from the big companies is that, even in times of recession, people want to buy brands that they trust. It’s true that they may look to downtrade on certain non-essential product lines, and might even do away with some luxuries altogether, but we repeatedly hear that shoppers love the big name brands that dominate the shelves.

A survey reported in the Daily Mail last week backs up this thinking. Mothers, it claims, trust only 18 big name brands.

Names like Heinz, Bisto, Cadbury and Walkers Crisps all made the list – proving their value to both shoppers and the retailers that sell them.

The survey was conducted by www.MumPoll.com – a collective of 10,000 market researchers, trained journalists, creative PR professionals and mothers that offers the opinions of mothers to those who need them. This means that brands like Vaseline, Sudocrem and Calpol make the list, meaning that the results may not be the most unbiased you’ll see – I believe that if teenage boys (who make up quite a large proportion of some convenience stores’ shoppers) were surveyed then the results would differ greatly!

What they do reveal, however, is that big brands are widely regarded. Mothers are still the main shoppers in families – and even doing top-up shops, most members of any family will try and buy the brand that is used regularly at home or that is most famous and widely regarded.

Shoppers love the big brands – so even when you think they’re looking for cheaper alternatives sometimes, don’t forget about them.