New Zealand shoppers are some of the smartest and most budget-conscious in the world - with new consumer research showing locals favour quality over designer labels and brand imaging.

According to the latest Nielsen survey, which surveyed more than 29,000 people across 58 countries, including New Zealand, Kiwis were the least willing of any nationality group to fork out for designer goods.

The survey results, released today, show only 17 per cent of New Zealand respondents would spend extra on designer products.

Australians were found to be the second most frugal shoppers, with only 26 per cent of respondents from across the ditch agreeing they would pay more for designer gear.

China was identified as a designer-haven, with about three-quarters of Chinese respondents willing to spend extra for designer items.

Nielsen's Suzie Dale said Kiwis and Australians liked to know they were paying for quality goods when shopping.

"We tend to have a cynical side when it comes to advertising and branding, and like to see ourselves as 'intelligent shoppers' who aren't won over solely by marketing claims but instead buy a product based on merit and the value it offers."

And while our perceived stinginess at the till may be a pain for advertising gurus, it does show that Kiwis are more likely to stay loyal to a brand they like.

"While brands in New Zealand and Australia may need to work harder to sway shoppers based on marketing claims, this can also result in increased loyalty if a product meets expectations and really satisfies a customer's needs."

Having a "famous" name was also unlikely to make any difference to Kiwis.

Less than a third of local respondents said they liked to buy products from famous brands.

This was significantly lower than the Asia-Pacific regional average of 55 per cent.

Indians were found to be most in favour of famous brands, with 74 per cent of Indian respondents agreeing they liked to buy products of famous brands.

Australia had a similar result to New Zealand for the question.

Ms Dale said the survey showed "premium brands" had to work harder in New Zealand.

Relying on a "premium status" as a famous brand was not enough.

"'Premium' has to deliver more authenticity and better quality to entice the majority of our buyers," she said.

Spending habits:

Shoppers who were willing to pay more for designer products:

• 17 per cent of Kiwis

• 26 per cent of Australians

• 44 per cent of all participants

Shoppers who liked to buy famous brands:

• 31 per cent of Kiwis

• 32 per cent of Australians

• 47 per cent average of all participants

Shoppers who said commercials increased their preference for a brand

• 32 per cent of Kiwis

• 32 per cent of Australians

• 55 per cent of all participants

(Source: Nielsen)

- apnz tf ln