Consumer Research: Electrical Product Lifetimes

1st March 2013

This research highlights the potential for brands and retailers to improve their market share by effectively communicating longer product lifetime on products.

Key findings
Half of all survey respondents said they would be willing to pay extra for products that are advertised to last longer.
'Lifetime' is not recognised as a front of mind consideration in the purchase process, potential customers substitute 'lifetime' with proxies such as brand and guarantee length.
Younger consumers are more receptive to products with longer lifetimes.



This report presents the findings from research commissioned by WRAP to explore consumers’ current views, attitudes and perceptions of the lifetimes of electrical products, with a particular focus on providing insight into the nature and extent of ‘consumer pull’ for longer lifetimes.   

Consumer interest in longer product lifetimes was explored with respect to two different types of electrical products:

  • Household appliances (fridges, washing machines and vacuum cleaners) – termed “workhorse products” since they are typically purchased for a lifetime of heavy and prolonged use
  • Consumer electronics (televisions and laptops) – termed “up-to-date products” since many consumers look to upgrade periodically to the latest technology in a fast-moving market


The research was comprised of three main elements:

  • A desk review of previous research into product lifetimes.
  • Six qualitative focus groups and ten accompanied shops with participants who had either recently bought or were intending to buy one of the six products under investigation.
  • A nationally representative survey of 1,104 consumers of household electrical appliances in England and Wales.

The research was carried out by Brook Lyndhurst between October and November 2012.

Read the executive summary >>



The research suggests that consumers are likely to be receptive to messaging and information on product lifetime at a number of stages in the purchasing journey. 

Jump to conclusions >>



A summary of the research is included in our report Switched on to Value:

Go to Switched on to Value page >>
Download Switched on to Value report >>

Where next?

Want to know more about consumer behaviour in sustainable electricals? Take a look at our reports, tools and case studies for further information:

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