SPOTLIGHT: GOING BEYOND BASIC BRAND/AD TRACKING

October 24th, 2014 in advertising, branding, knowledge, market research | Tagged , , , , , , , , | by | Leave a comment

FAN2012517Establishing reliable benchmarks and tracking the health of a brand and the success of marketing initiatives over time is imperative, but tracking research need not be limited to monitoring awareness, consideration, and stated intent.

W5’s approach to strategic tracking research goes beyond basic “brand funnel” metrics to explore an evolving marketplace, bringing depth and context to consumer behavior and attitudes. A more holistic and strategic approach to tracking research helps a company not only understand their relative brand health, but also how their brand is perceived and fits within the marketplace. In these situations, our clients have taken the time and made the investment to get their target consumers engaged in a survey…so why not dig a little deeper than the typical brand/ad tracking survey?

Here is an example of how we recently extended a brand health study into something more exploratory and ultimately, revealing:

REVEALING AND TRACKING CONSUMER ATTITUDES AND RETAIL BEHAVIORS

A category-leading CPG company partnered with W5 to better understand the state of their category and how to best position their products in stores. In addition to running brand health tracking research to map back to previously collected data, the study was extended to explore consumers’ attitudes and opinions about the category, brand and product, and examined consumers’ purchasing behaviors. The following year, a parallel wave of research was conducted to not only track the brand health but also the extended learning.

APPROACH

In addition to asking questions to compare back to the earlier waves of survey research, additional questions were included to derive a holistic view of the marketplace and the challenges facing the brand. These questions included exploration of consumers’ perceptions and expectations of the company, its competitors, and product locations in stores as well as opinions of new packaging options. Through in-depth tracking reporting, W5 illustrated new trends in the marketplace, communicated how consumers’ perceptions have changed over time, and highlighted shifts in consumers’ expectations.

RESULTS

The client used the study insights to guide branding and communications efforts to maintain their leadership role in the marketplace. The learning was also used as a resource for sales teams to inform communication with store management regarding the placement of products in stores. The information has allowed for the client’s products to be positioned competitively, and in the locations consumers expect to find them.

This is just one example of how W5 can do more with multiple wave tracking research than showing how brand and advertising health metrics have shifted over a time period. Contact us for additional perspective on strategic tracking research. We would be happy to share our W5 white paper on the topic or discuss your research initiatives.

Spotlight is a special feature of the W5 Blog showcasing W5 consultants’ approach to designing marketing research studies, creating engaging deliverables, and informing strategy. For more information on W5’s approach to strategic tracking or other quantitative or qualitative research, contact projects@w5insight.com

No pain, no gain

October 23rd, 2014 in Blog, culture | by | Leave a comment

Maybe it’s because I’ve spent a lot of time in airports lately, captive to mainstream cable TV viewing habits, but I feel like extreme fitness and endurance shows (think Naked and Afraid or American Ninja Warrior) are a big thing in American culture right now. Taken together with mud-drenched obstacle courses, CrossFit diehards and exercise routines with ‘insanity’ in their name and I’d say we have a trend worthy of some cultural analysis on our hands.

Endurance

When you look closer there is some truly fascinating stuff going on:
• Militaristic regimens
• Notions of penance, atonement and salvation
• Physical asceticism & pain
• Survivalist mindsets
• Strong interpersonal bonding through shared experience & accomplishment

Clearly I’m not alone in thinking this, as a recent article in The Sunday Times Magazine nicely proves. It does a great job at exploring some of the themes mentioned above.

I suppose the big question is why – or perhaps more specifically, why now? What does it say about the current American psyche writ large?

Is it a response to larger trends involving technology, human connection and a return to physical experience? Does this notion of preparedness reflect larger perceived treats like terrorism and disease? Does the attraction to extreme challenge, discipline, endurance and accomplishment speak to a deeper search for purpose, structure and meaning?

It will be interesting to follow these practices and rituals over the coming years to see if they gain traction or peter out – no doubt to be replaced by something else that is equally revealing.

10 New Hispanic Consumer Trends

October 22nd, 2014 in market research, study | Tagged , , | by | Leave a comment

Recently, the Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project put out a list of emerging trends among Hispanic Americans. Understanding their new trends can go a long way in identifying ways to speak to the Hispanic consumer and understand shifts in consumption and behavior.

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1. The US Hispanic population is now at 54.1 million which solidifies their place as the second-largest ethnic group in the US. That means that close to 20% of Americans are Hispanic. This is a huge growth, as Hispanics made up only 5% of the population in 1970.

2. Five Hispanic origin groups have grown to one million people each: Cubans, Salvadorans, Dominicans, Guatemalans and Colombians. This means a larger and unprecedented variation of country of origin among Hispanic Consumers.

3. The share foreign born among Hispanics varies by origin group. Only a third of Mexican origin Hispanics are foreign born, far lower than any other major group.

4. Income of Hispanic immigrants have slowed greatly. This means that a growing number of American-born Hispanics are aging into adulthood and becoming the face of the next Hispanic consumer.

5. Hispanics are the youngest of racial and ethnic groups with a median age of 27, a decade younger than the US overall. There is also a large difference in median age among US-born and foreign born Hispanics.

6. The number of Hispanics under the age of 18 have doubled in the last decade.

7. Hispanics are still the largest immigrant group in the US, despite the slower levels of incoming immigrants.

8. The share of Hispanics who identify as Catholics has decreased 67% since 2010.

9. A record-breaking number of Hispanics are eligible to vote in 2014, 21.3 million more than in 2010.

10. Hispanics still mainly speak Spanish at home.

Learn more about the Hispanic Trends Project here.

Nike, Cultural Relevance, and Market Dominance

October 22nd, 2014 in branding, culture, Fashion | Tagged , | by | Leave a comment

Nike ReebokThe recent news of a potential bid by an investor group to buy Reebok from Addidas (which purchased Reebok in 2006) is interesting not necessarily because of Reebok’s struggle to remain relevant ever since its pinnacle with the phenomenon known as “The Pump” – but because of the utter dominance that Nike has over the U.S. sneaker market. This is not so much a story about what Reebok has done wrong or what Nike has done right, but about Nike’s identity as an American cultural icon.

Nike’s market share has grown from 35% in 2005 to 60% in 2014, while Addidas’s market share has been nearly cut in half and Reebok’s market share is a one-quarter of what it was in 2005. While it is conceivable that Reebok can gain back some of its lost market share it is hard to imagine Nike, with all of its cultural cachet, ever falling from its perch atop the sneaker industry. In a category that is ostensibly driven by athletic functionalism, Nike transcends consumer expectations of athletic shoes to be a brand that more broadly reflects being a part of a tribe driven by a determination to achieve excellence.

Well – Nike has clearly achieved excellence in the sneaker market. As both Nike and Red Bull have shown, cultural relevance and market dominance is achieved not through offering products or solutions bounded by the limitations of category expectations, but instead through offering inspiration to transcend expectations. Unfortunately for Reebok, it is going to take much more than changing the logo or a singular focus on fitness (or another gimmicky shoe) to turn its fortunes around.

 

 

 

 

HALLOWEEN SPENDING FOR 2014 [INFOGRAPHIC]

October 20th, 2014 in Blog, infographics, market research | by | Leave a comment

While kids reach into buckets of candy, adults are reaching deep into their wallets. An expected $7.4 billion will be spent on Halloween festivities in 2014, including over $2 billion on candy. Do you have a furry friend who likes to participate in the festivities? About $350 million will be spent on pet costumes. Check out the infographic below from Zanifesto to see more spooky spending.

spooky-spending-statistics-for-halloween-2014_5427748909242_w1500

4A’s StratFest & Jay Chiat Awards

October 8th, 2014 in advertising, market research, Media | Tagged , , , , , | by | Leave a comment

The 2014 4A’s Strategy Festival wrapped up with week in Chicago at the Langham Hotel. Between the powerful speakers, rich content, impressive case studies, and jaw-dropping venue I would argue the conference was a smashing success.

The conference also celebrates the Jay Chiat Awards. Now in its 18th year, the Jay Chiat Awards are global awards that recognize the best strategic thinking in marketing, media and advertising around the world. The conference featured various case studies from this year’s winners. The awarded agency spoke to not only the campaign, but the challenges they faced, the strategies that overcame those challenges, and the staggering success metrics the campaign delivered on.

The highest honor is the Grand Prix which was awarded to OgilvyOne for the British Airways “Visit Mum” campaign. Check out their campaign and a few other winning campaigns below. For the full list of winners click here.

Grand Prix: OgilvyOne— British Airways “Visit Mum”

Global Strategy, Bronze: Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide/Holler/Starcom MediaVest Group—Procter & Gamble – Always “#LikeAGirl”

Product/Service Creation, Silver: Lowe Lintas and Partners, India—Hindustan Unilever Ltd. “Little Farmers of Kissanpur”

Non-profit, Gold: Memac Ogilvy & Mather—Sawa Mninjah “Rescue Radio”

Lastly, a special thank you to FCB for hosting the Monday night party at their stunning offices on Michigan Avenue. No trip to Chicago is complete without some Garrett popcorn, thanks for party favor!

Welcoming Marketing Scrutiny

October 6th, 2014 in advertising, branding | by | Leave a comment

The emergence of social media brought with it more scrutiny over marketing efforts as consumers can now speak out (loudly) about marketing they disagree with. It is predicted that this scrutiny will only increase, as discussed in one of my blog posts. Marketers are pressured to stand for more than just sell, which can be scary to many brands unsure of what to stand for. But when well done, this new type of marketing can motivate your consumers to rally for your brand and, most importantly, understand your brand is on their side. Not to mention, of course, all the social good you can do.

This is best exemplified through the Dove Real Beauty campaign and the more recent campaigns for Under Armour, Verizon and Pantene. Under Armour, failing miserably in 2003, recently launched it’s “I Will What I Want” campaign, highlighting trailblazing women. Jennifer Pozner, founder of Women in Media and News, says “[Marketers] have wised up and said, ‘If we create ad platforms that treat women and girls as if they’re fully human, we can turn them into brand loyalists.’”

There have been many times where I have heard my co-workers tell me they think of their jobs as bringing the consumer’s voice into the marketing conversation. The voice brought to Under Armour was an unsatisfied female athlete  who was tired of frills and euphemisms, and wanted to be treated like the strong, no pain no gain athlete she is. Under Armour listened and  is now the second biggest sports brand in the US.

Learn more about Women in Media and News here and while you’re at it, look at Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media here.

W5 at Recent Corporate Researchers Conference

October 2nd, 2014 in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | by | Leave a comment

I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since the Marketing Research Association’s (MRA) Corporate Researcher
Conferences untitledheld at McCormick Place in Chicago. W5 found the event a great success, both the content  and the folks we met. Most of all, the conference had a great industry collegial ‘vibe’ that I feel has been missing from many conferences. I think this is due to the fact that the MRA is a nonprofit institution and its mission is to promote the industry as a whole, and not profit from it.

I also found refreshing the wide array of speakers and topics. Mobile, of course, was presented but not beaten to death; a bit on retail; in-context ethnography; infographics; storytelling with data; and an overall good balance of qualitative and quantitative discussions. At some conferences a hot topic seems to dominate (i.e., mobile, big data, neuromarketing, eye tracking, and a host of others, depending on the year), but the MRA offered a  mature event. And while there were a few sessions for corporate researchers only (i.e., no vendors or supply side researchers) at no time did I feel excluded.

I’m not going to highlight any one speaker over another, but recommend you look over the site and go from there: http://crc.marketingresearch.org.

People of all stripes can benefit from attending: corporate researchers, ad agency account planners, suppliers and vendors to the industry, and non-researchers in industry and nonprofits who use research to assist their decision-making.

We hope to see you at next year’s event where the W5 team will again be in attendance and a proud sponsor!

SPOTLIGHT: REFINING RETAIL SPACES FOR HISPANIC CONSUMERS’ NEEDS

September 15th, 2014 in culture, study | Tagged , | by | Leave a comment

It’s that time again-another Case Study! Here at W5 we like to share what we’ve been doing, including recent research studies that have helped client achieve their business goals. This case study highlights W5′s approach and the resulting deliverables for a research study on how to create a retail space to satisfy both general and Hispanic markets.

My very first blog post was about the future of Spanish in the US and discussed whether bilingual efforts were still relevant to the Hispanic market of today.  Later, I was assigned to a study that investigated how to refine a retail store to better accommodate Hispanic consumers’ needs, including language needs. It is essential that consumers understand the retail space whether navigating the store independently or guided by a sales representative. This can become a convoluted balance in bilingual markets where retailers will ask themselves how to accommodate for Hispanic consumers’ needs. An in-depth retail environment study can answer such bilingual marketing questions as: are bilingual
sales representatives sufficient assistance for consumers; is a cultural ‘translation’ a more appropriate marketing solution than a language translation; and will we be isolating or alienating unilingual consumers if we grow bilingual efforts?

STORE EVALUATION FOR SPANISH-SPEAKING SHOPPERS

A multinational telecommunications company wanted to under
stand how Hispanic shoppers react and engage with a newly redesigned store. The client wanted to ensure new design and layout improvements accommodate any cultural and language needs before renovating additional stores.

APPROACH

To understand consumer perceptions of the new store, W5 interviewed pre-recruited Hispanic consumers and employees and conducted in-store interviews, intercepts and employee interviews. In addition to Hispanic shoppers, W5 also spoke to non-Hispanic shoppers to compare experiences. Discussions centered on navigability of the space, functionality of interactive experiences, and clarity of in-store communications.

RESULTS

The research revealed opportunities for refining experiences and noted meaningful points of differentiation between the general and Hispanic markets. Through our ethnographic approach, W5 recommended changes to the store to enhance its appeal with the Hispanic market and outlined important criteria when catering to this community. The results ensured a store design that would successfully communicate to both Hispanic and general market consumers, encourage product interaction, and avoid confusion related to customer service, navigability, and product features and benefits.

Spotlight is a special feature of the W5 Blog showcasing W5 consultants’ approach to designing marketing research studies, creating engaging deliverables, and informing strategy. For more information on W5’s approach to qualitative or quantitative research contact: projects@W5insight.com.