Frequently Asked Questions – Canstar Blue New Zealand

Posted by Canstar Blue September 29th 2016

About our ratings
Canstar Blue rates customer satisfaction across a wide range of products and services, with the core purpose of helping consumers make better purchase decisions. The ratings are based on professional market research to determine the perceptions of consumers who have recently purchased and / or used the specific products and services. The independent results are freely available to consumers via our website.

How do you collect the information from consumers?
We partner with respected professional market research agency Colmar Brunton Australia and iView (owned by Ipsos), who both undertake research on our behalf. Colmar Brunton Australia is the largest independently owned Australian market research agency and is a member of AMSRS, the peak body for the market research industry. Ipsos is an independent market research agency ranked third in the global research industry.

The sample is broadly representative of the New Zealand population in terms of gender, age and location and is based on local population data. Only people who have used the specific product or service within a nominated time frame are able to answer the questions and be included in the survey results.

For example, only people who had used a multivitamin in the previous twelve months were included in the multivitamins results. The time frame specified for consumption or usage depends on the product or service category that is being researched.

How many people do you survey?
We receive survey responses from 2,500 people across a broad cross section of the New Zealand population for each category. We only include results from the respondents from this group who have used the product or service within the nominated time frame.

How are the ratings developed?
The survey:

  • The surveys are delivered online by our research partners (Colmar Brunton and iView) – using their panels which consist of more than 35,000 active members in New Zealand.
  • Respondents rate their satisfaction with the products or services at a brand level on a zero to ten scale, where zero is low satisfaction and ten is high satisfaction.

The ratings:

  • The criteria that are rated vary depending on the category. They typically include overall satisfaction and value for money, while other criteria are included on an ‘as-needs’ basis. For example, customer satisfaction ratings for a retailer might include criteria such as service and range, while ratings for a refrigerator will include criteria such as reliability and quality.
  • The winner in each category is the one that receives the highest overall satisfaction rating once the scores from all respondents are combined and averaged.
  • Overall satisfaction is asked as a specific question. This means the overall satisfaction criteria represents an individual measure rather than a combined total of all criteria. As a result, some brands may find their overall satisfaction score is lower – or higher – than the scores they have received for other criteria.
  • When we cannot determine a clear winner from the criteria for the overall satisfaction rating, we will then look at the supporting criteria. The brand with the highest number of five star ratings within the supporting criteria will become the five star recipient in overall satisfaction, and thus win the award.
  • If a clear leader still cannot be determined from the supporting criteria, then joint winners will be declared.
  • For each criteria, any brand that receives 6 out of 10 or higher receives at least three stars and any brand that scores lower than 6 out of 10 receives one or two stars.
  • Rating results are comparative and the ratings table is first sorted by overall satisfaction star ratings results, and then alphabetically by overall satisfaction.

How are you funded?
Canstar Blue is committed to making our customer satisfaction ratings freely available to consumers via our website. The business is privately owned by shareholders and continues to invest heavily in professional market research, so there are two ways in which revenue is generated:

  • Ratings licenses: Once category winners have been determined, the brands have the opportunity to licence their award for use in their marketing for a negotiated fee (however there is no requirement to do so). Each category is run approximately every 12 months, and the market research remains independent and undertaken by a third party (Colmar Brunton Australia or iView).
  • Online advertising: Canstar Blue allows limited advertising on the website. Our primary intention is to present quality advertising that is highly relevant to consumers. We always include an ‘advertising’ or ‘sponsored link’ sign above the ad so people know exactly what it is.

Why isn’t every brand rated?
Brands must receive a minimum of 30 responses to be included in the ratings. The market research is designed to pick up as many brands per category as relevant. However, some brands may miss out due to low sample size – for example small local or niche brands where their market share is currently low. A rated brand may also receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

Why don’t you do price comparisons?
We are not a price comparison or shopping website, and typically we don’t collect data on individual products, models or plans. We do not offer consumer advice, but rather act as the real voice of the consumer and report independent market research results in the form of ratings. These ratings can help consumers to put different brands on the shopping list so that they can choose the product or service that best suits their individual needs.
(Note that CANSTAR does compare individual finance products at www.canstar.co.nz).

Why won’t you disclose the whole research report?
Our published customer satisfaction ratings are the user friendly summary of the market research we conduct through a third party (Colmar Brunton Australia or iView). This research is 100% funded by Canstar Blue and valuable, as we use the findings to generate ratings and in many other areas of the business.

How can I get my product or service rated by Canstar Blue?
The brands that feature in our ratings are those that have been nominated by respondents in the market research, and have received a minimum of 30 responses. We do not choose which brands to include.

How can I keep up to date with Canstar Blue?
We have a Facebook page and a Twitter account that are updated regularly. You can also get in touch with the Canstar Blue team by leaving feedback on the website.

Further information about Canstar Blue.