A global brand survey conducted by Nielsen has revealed that homegrown brands hold less than a fifth of market share in Singapore, as consumers prefer well-known international labels.

The figure stands in stark contrast to the country’s neighbors, with local brands in Indonesia accounting for more than half of the market, while penetration of homegrown marques in Thailand grew 34 percent between 2012 and 2014. Singapore’s brands saw penetration grow just 4 percent in the same period.

Nearly seven out of 10 Singaporean respondents claimed that a brand’s country of origin was as or more important in making purchasing decisions than price, with 44 percent preferring global cosmetics brands over their local competitors and just 10 percent choosing the homegrown option.

“Homegrown brands ought to accentuate their relevance to the local consumers and establish the right relationships early. With their understanding of local preferences, Singapore brands can innovate in areas of unmet and emerging needs, maximize efficiency and be agile about responding ahead of the competition,” said Joan Koh, Managing Director of Nielsen Singapore and Malaysia.