All posts by Rudly Raphael

2018 Home Renovation Report: Homeowner Trends, Spending and Priority Projects

renovation

Just as fall signals football and cider mills, spring brings the home renovation projects that were set aside for the winter. QuestionPro Audience conducted a survey with 500 homeowners across the United States to gauge homeowner trends, future renovation plans and spending habits for spring 2018. To view our infographic with full report findings, click here.

CURRENT ECONOMIC OUTLOOK

Overall, U.S. homeowners are optimistic about the next twelve months. 60% of homeowners take the state of the economy into consideration before making renovation plans, and 61% feel confident the economy is improving. Additionally, 55% of our respondents think home values will increase as well over the next year. While President Trump can be a controversial topic, only 28% report taking the presidential administration into consideration before making home improvement plans.

FUTURE HOME RENOVATION SPENDING

Homeowners look to be encouraged by today’s stronger housing market, and are making investments in their homes. 55% of homeowners plan to conduct at least one renovation over the next twelve months, up from the 38% who have previously performed improvements. 41% of respondents are initiating a home improvement project to improve their quality of living, while 17% are looking to increase the value of their home, but don’t have current plans to sell, and 16% want a “new look”.

Homeowners are also tackling bigger, more expensive projects this year—15% are planning to remodel their kitchen this year, 13% plan to update a bathroom, and 9% are looking to revamp the bedroom. 42% plan to spend between $3,000 and $10,000 on their upcoming renovation, up 6% from last year. A bit of good news for contractors: 61% plan to hire a professional for their upcoming project, compared to 59% who hired a professional for their past project. 49% of respondents plan to pay with cash or savings, 17% will put it on a credit card, 14% will use financing, 10% plan to use a home equity loan, and 8% are counting on their tax return to finance their project.

MILLENNIALS VS. BABY BOOMERS: WHO IS SPENDING ON HOME IMPROVEMENT?

Baby Boomers and millennials have at least one thing in common when it comes to conducting home projects: 61% of both baby boomers and millennials plan to perform at least one improvement over the next twelve months. That may be where the similarities end, however. The majority of millennials (35%) plan to spend between $1,000-$2,999, while 31% of baby boomers will be spending between $5,000-$9,999. Baby boomers will primarily be paying with cash (67%), financing (13%), or taking out a home equity loan (7%). Millennials will also be paying with cash (42%), but 19% plan to use one or more credit card.

Millennials are focused on renovating their kitchen (14%), bathroom (10%), and living room (9%), while 23% of baby boomers will be updating their bathroom, kitchen (19%), or replacing windows (9%). The majority of both age groups will be hiring a professional to do the work, but 39% of millennials plan to conduct the renovation themself, compared to 27% of baby boomers. Millennial respondents get a sense of satisfaction from performing the work themselves (40%), while baby boomers are more focused on keeping the project cost effective (59%). Baby boomer DIY-ers are also very specific about where they purchase their materials, with 85% shopping at building supply stores such as Home Depot, Lowe’s or Menards, hardware stores like Ace Hardware or True Value (8%) or Walmart (8%). Millennials also shop at supply stores (64%), Walmart (14%), and hardware stores (7%), but they frequent warehouse clubs like Costco or Sam’s Club (7%) and high-end specialty stores like Kohler (4%) as well.

WOMEN TAKING CHARGE OF HOME PROJECTS

While home improvement has stereotypically been thought of as a male-dominated industry, women are picking up power tools and narrowing the margins. Of our respondents, 55% of women are planning to conduct a home improvement project over the next twelve months, compared to 57% of men. The majority of men (33%) intend to spend between $5,000 and $9,999, while 29% of women are looking to spend $1,000-$2,999. Cash is king for women funding their project; 54% of women are using cash, whereas men will be using cash (40%) or financing (21%). The genders are focused on improving different areas of the house as well; men will be remodeling the bathroom, while women plan to update the kitchen.

The majority of both sexes—63% of women and 58% of men—intend to hire a professional for their upcoming project. 56% of women feel they do not have the skills or equipment necessary for their planned project, while men value the expertise that comes with hiring a professional (47%). Another dissimilarity between the genders is how they find professionals to hire. Women prefer to ask a friend for a referral (40%), look on a review website such as Yelp.com (18%), or ask a contractor for a referral (17%). Men also ask friends for referrals (30%), but would rather use a search engine like Google.com (24%), or look on Yellowpages.com (21%).

The motivated women who plan to DIY prefer it because it gives them a sense of personal satisfaction (41%), whereas DIY men like that it’s more cost effective (53%). The majority of both men (74%) and women (75%) plan to purchase materials at a building supply store like Menards, Home Depot or Lowe’s, but that’s where the congruity ends. 10% of men intend to shop at Sears or IKEA (6%), while women will head to warehouse clubs like Costco (8%) or Walmart (8%).

THE YEAR AHEAD

The current housing market inventory is very competitive, so it is logical that many homeowners are choosing to invest in remodeling their current home, rather than get into a bidding war. Additionally, with the economy and housing market more stable, homeowners now have more income—and equity—so they’re making renovations to create their dream homes. Our study found that the majority of homeowners are focusing on discretionary projects such as kitchens and bathrooms, which may have been put off after the housing crisis. Judging from our report, it looks like 2018 will be a profitable year for homeowners, contractors, and material suppliers alike.

Download the full infographic report here.

What Your Brand Can Learn Right Now from the Starbucks Controversy

By now, most of you are probably aware of the disastrous event at Starbucks —  where two black men were arrested in a Philadelphia store for not making a purchase and refusing to leave the premises. The scene was captured in a video that went viral, and the backlash has been monstrous on social media and resulted in physical protests across the country. As Warren Buffet famously said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

Starbucks can surely relate. According to a YouGov BrandIndex score, the coffee giant has already dropped to its lowest consumer perception in years. Without a doubt, this is a historic public relations minefield. Starbucks has gone into damage control during these very sensitive, caustic times in the country.

Will any public image initiatives work or is the brand hopelessly crippled?

One way to read the tea leaves right in this situation is to analyze Starbuck’s initial reactions — relating them to effective PR best practices and comparing to how other companies have overcome a public crisis in the past.

STARBUCKS DID THEIR RESEARCH AND KNEW THEIR AUDIENCE

The company knew that these are not the days when a controversy comes and goes. The internet doesn’t forget a scandalous situation. Social media and easily-captured videos amplify events to intense levels of engagement, attitude, and action. The fact that the video caught white patrons angrily objecting the arrest was a visible testament to the company’s customer base. Starbucks is no Chick-fil-A, a more conservative brand that easily weathered its own storm years ago when its CEO publicly shared his controversial views on gay marriage.

As always, any publicity starts with solid market research to understand where a brand needs to pivot, regardless of the situation.

Thus, Starbucks needed to move quickly and address its base.

STARBUCKS OWNED IT, AND OWNED IT FAST

When the racially-charged news broke out, one of the narratives on the web was pointing the finger at the Philadelphia Police Department (who have recently gone on their own damage control campaign). Starbucks didn’t ride that potential wave, immediately taking responsibility for the debacle.

The incident happened on a Thursday, with the video beginning to crest by Friday. On Saturday the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks exploded across Twitter. By then, the company had provided a public apology while CEO Kevin R. Johnson released both a video and written statement of culpability and regret.

The company’s reaction is a huge contrast from last year’s infamous video-captured incident on a United Express flight, when a passenger was recorded being forcibly dragged out. As the video became viral and the media reaction swelled, United appeared to deflect any blame at first and only apologized several days later. This was a textbook illustration of being tone deaf, widely seen as crippling the airline’s public perception.

The same argument can be made with the recent feet-dragging of Facebook once it was found its data was being politically mined by third-party companies. Stay tuned for that one, though.

STARBUCKS IS MAKING CHANGES TO THE BRAND

Taking responsibility and apologizing are only the first steps in any public crisis. Transformative actions should follow (beyond whatever recompensation offered to maligned consumers).

Historically, the best example might be in 1982 when seven people died from poison-laced Tylenol. Apologies were not going to make much of a difference in this tragedy, even if the culprit had been found. Instead, the maker of Tylenol, Johnson & Johnson, introduced a tamper-resistant packaging and $2.50-off coupons. Both solutions became a standard for the industry and an iconic case study on damage control.

Starbucks is obviously not going to add bigotry-erasing ingredients to their employee free coffees — but will be closing its stores on May 29 to conduct racial-bias education for employees (at the potential cost of $12 million).

This change is not in the product but the overall culture of the company.

As an expert in crisis management said, “This move goes far beyond the playbook of what a normal crisis response would be.”

STARBUCKS IS BEING DYNAMIC

A strategy in any business sense should never be static. Strictly following initial data and sticking to a template may lead to a disconnect.

Starbucks is being fluid with its crisis management. Johnson not only apologized in a video and written statement but has met with the two arrested individuals. This move has allowed Starbucks to own more of the dialogue instead of the media completely controlling the narrative.

Furthermore, the company continues to address the issue on its social media channels, as well as deal with collateral issues like fake coupons that offer free drinks to black customers. Sadly, regardless of the gravity of a situation, there are always elements wanting to make an extra buck or troll a population in the hope of having another sucker born in a minute.

Surely, Starbucks is learning from past nimble movements from other big brands — like JC Penny quickly addressing a Reddit, viral graphic that compared its teapots to Hitler or Southwest keeping its audiences well-informed right after an airplane made an emergency landing. Again, it’s about owning the dialogue as much as possible.

PR WIN OR CAUTIONARY TALE?

Starbucks seems to be doing everything right in the reputation management front, drawing deftly from past cases and innovating out of necessity. As marketer Viv Segal once said, “PR means telling the truth and working ethically – even when all the media want is headlines and all the public wants is scapegoats.”

I wouldn’t bet a pricey cup of coffee that it overcomes the crisis, though.

All times in history are unique, but these are singularly days where audiences live equally in both shifting physical and digital domains, all under an uncertain geopolitical and cultural atmosphere. In any public relations today, there are too many moving parts to be confident of how a brand will be affected.

In between now and the racial-bias education at the end of May, a lot can and will happen. In the end, the one thing that is certain is that this controversy will be a future case study, maybe or maybe not accompanied by a latte in a siren-printed cup.

Don’t Exhibit at Your Next Event Before Using this Research Hack

Proper market research is the stable launching pad to rocket any successful product, service, or campaign. That’s not rocket science.

Having said that, market research tends to get overlooked in the event space. All too often, brands get lulled into the “we’ve always done it this way” mentality when it comes to the annual exhibition. It’s time to dust off the usual signage, call an event provider for a booth, and send out the team with product samples. Or something like that.

Any event should be well-researched, new or reoccurring. Face-to-face marketing is still crucial. Research shows that companies are increasingly investing in events for their ability to bring results (some as much as 50% of marketing budget).

Without the right data, you risk exhibiting at an event with the wrong audiences. Your service or product will sputter. Conversely, well-researched shows blast your brand to hyperspace when it comes to customer engagement.

Follow this approachable and executable roadmap below to find the most suitable trade show or exhibit for your product or service.

Align the needs of your brand

One of the most important questions for marketing and business decisions is “Why?”

Why does your organization need to be at an event? At any event?

For these answers, it’s key to interview internal sales, marketers, product managers, and other stakeholders. This search aims to obtain background on promotional aims, product details, and competitive climate needed to select shows that fit like the proverbial glove. If possible, getting upper management to present a “big picture” vision goes a long way — which can then be aligned with the specific goals of having a booth (sales, networking, data gathering, product testing, etc.).

After a thorough examination, you’ll acquire a solid picture on identifying events that line up with your organization’s general marketing aims. Not getting this right from the start is likely to imbalance the rest of the process — so be as thorough as possible!

Find out where your audiences hang out

It may seem obvious to know what events your audience frequents, but it’s also vital to know why they attend a show, as well as their specific opinions after experiencing an event. After all, there can be many events for a single vertical and many reasons audiences attend them (education, networking, product search, etc.). Some events are more popular or relevant in any given year.

This is the time to whip out a survey for your customers and prospects. Ask them which events they patronize yearly, what are they looking for specifically on the show floor, and other explorative questions. Not every organization has the budget or time for high-level surveys, but in full transparency, QuestionPro provides its clients with a suite of intuitive research tools that can do the trick.

Keep in mind that informal, qualitative studies like picking the brain of clients over lunch or during a phone meeting can go a long way in obtaining data.

Hunt down the right exhibition or trade show

You’ve got actionable data at this point. Yay! Now it’s time find the best event opportunities for exhibiting. Luckily, there are many sources for identifying potential events.

These include:

  •      Association websites
  •      Trade publications
  •      Internet sites
  •      Trade associations
  •      Competitors (specifically their sites or social media channels)
  •      Direct mail from event producers

This investigation should produce a list of shows that match your brand’s marketing strategy and objectives. For best results, categorize by industry, vertical, and market — at the same time analyzing for potential cross-overs for multi-product/division companies.

Go into the belly of the beast

With a targeted list in your possession, contact organizers of each relevant show for pertinent information. This can include attendance figures, cost per square footage, space availability, sponsorships, etc. In addition, try to contact current exhibitors for their personal experiences.

As a warning, this step may be difficult. In many cases, organizers just don’t possess the kind of data you require, are reluctant to share numbers publicly, or have inadequate standards of information-reporting. What’s more, many show organizers simply lack independent auditors to certify their own data. Regardless, any information collected will go miles towards achieving research goals.

For additional criteria, there is nothing wrong with weighing such elements as speaker popularity, media exposure, or brand recognition. Not every event can be Comic-Con or SXSW, but you can hear an industry buzz if you’re attentive.

Use your research!

Now that you have all this rich data, it’s time to do something about it.

By now, you should have a clear answer to the most critical question: Should we exhibit and where?

Even if the answer is yes to exhibiting, it’s a matter of to what extent and how deep to invest. All of this depends primarily on the target audience quantity and quality (gleaned from the show organizer data and your surveys). It also depends on the feedback and insights of all relevant company stakeholders and decision-makers

Put together, this process ought to lead to a full marketing strategy after a few meetings. Even better, you’ll likely find overarching objectives and strategies for future shows, not to mention post-participation promotions.

What’s important is that your organization can be free of that “we’ve always done it this way” attitude when it comes to exhibiting. Once on the show floor, your team will be saying a hearty “hello” to audiences that are ready to interact with your brand fully.

How Brands Cash In On March Madness

The Madness of March. Many sports fans claim the only thing that gets them through the tedious month of March, when spring is so close you can taste it, is the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, better known as March Madness. College basketball fans aren’t the only ones who get excited for the tournament, however. Due to the popularity of office brackets, even the most casual sports fan can get swept up in the excitement, in the hopes of bragging rights and a little extra cash. ESPN.com reports an estimated 70 million brackets were filled out in 2017, to a total of $10.4 billion overall in bets. Brands know they have an opportunity to reach a large audience, and spend the month engaging consumers via social media and advertising.

According to Kantar Media, $1.285 billion in ad revenue was generated during last year’s March Madness tournament, a 3.3% increase from 2016. Additionally, the 2017 NCAA Tournament was the most-watched in 24 years, with an average of 9,325,000 million viewers, up 10% from 2016 (8,513,000). With nearly one-third of the U.S. television audience watching at least six minutes of the tournament, it is a good bet for brands looking to reach a broad audience.

Companies pay big money to attach their names to the tournament, and Coca-Cola, Capital One, and AT&T are the three corporate “champion” sponsors this year, with an additional fourteen corporate sponsors. NCAA officials don’t disclose how much they receive for the partnerships, but according to marketing researchers, March Madness ranks with the Super Bowl, Olympics, and World Cup as one of the most valuable events in sports, due to the audience it attracts—younger males, who are traditionally a harder market to reach.

Brands like Wendy’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Powerade are utilizing the tournament by running promotions linked to March Madness. Wendy’s is running an interactive bracket on their social channels, with fans able to earn rewards and exclusive offers each week. Buffalo Wild Wings has billed itself the “Official Hangout for NCAA March Madness” and unveiled a variety of in-restaurant, online and on-site Final Four activations designed to reward fans. Powerade, who is the Official Sports Drink of the NCAA, debuted a new campaign, “That’s Some Kind of Power,” during the first four March Madness games. The campaign has evolved throughout the month with relevant advertisements and activations around iconic sporting events.

Not everyone makes money during March Madness, however. March Madness invades many workplaces, causing major distractions. According to WalletHub, unproductivity during March Madness amounted to an estimated $6.3 billion in corporate losses in 2017. In a survey of more than 400 managers and human resources specialists conducted by Seyfarth Shaw at Work, 30% said it was a major diversion at their office, with workers spending an average of 25.5 minutes per day monitoring the games.

Whether you’re an avid fan, or just hoping to make some money in your office bracket, advertisers are happy you’re tuning in.

Move Over, Celebs—Make Way For the New Influencers

Consumers, get ready to see even more influencer marketing on your social media channels. According to a study conducted by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), 75% of advertisers surveyed currently use influencer marketing. 43% of national advertisers who already engage in influencer marketing are planning to increase their spend over the next 12 months. Even more interesting, of those who are not already using influencer marketing, 27% plan to start in the next year. While influencer marketing is here to stay, there will be a few tweaks. We examine ways influencer marketing is changing in 2018.

MICRO-INFLUENCERS

Celebrities will always influence trends on some level, but many brands are veering away from celebrities and moving toward micro-influencers who have 25,000 to 100,000 followers. While giant followings may sound enticing, they don’t always get the best results, and advertisers are realizing engagement matters more. A recent study found that consumers find micro-influencers to be more engaging and trustworthy than celebrities or personalities with more than 250,000 followers.

TRAILBLAZERS

Digital trailblazers are also increasingly popular with both brands and consumers alike. These content creators who have 1 million to 19.9 million social media followers outperform both celebrities and micro-influencers. According to a new report by Fullscreen and Sharablee, the engagement levels were 0.66% for digital trailblazers, compared to 0.40% for celebrities and 0.35% for micro-influencers.

TRUST

Fullscreen and Sharablee found that 38% of 1,200 millennials and Gen Zers ages 18-to-34 trust what influencers say about a brand more than what the brand says about itself. Trailblazers have the overall highest level of trust (45%) among their followers, exceeding micro-influencers (42%) and celebrities (29%). Of those consumers who engage with micro-influencers, 45% were likely to try their recommendation, while 30% of those who engage with digital trailblazers were likely to purchase. Consumers who engage with celebrities were the least likely to try or purchase something recommended by the influencer.

BUDGETS

A recent survey of 181 marketers reported that 86% of brands used influencer marketing in 2017; of those, 92% felt it was an effective strategy. So effective, in fact, that 39% of brands are increasing their influencer budgets in 2018, with the majority spending between $25,000 and $50,000. 35% of brands give influencers free products rather than payment.

SOCIAL PLATFORMS

According to ANA’s findings, the most popular social media channels for influencer marketing are Facebook (86%) and Instagram (84%), with Instagram ranked as the most important platform overall by 36% compared to Facebook’s 20%.
QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 22 million active respondents who are strategically recruited to participate in quantitative research and live discussions. By implementing various recruitment methodologies, we make sure to provide the right kinds of respondents for your research. With industry knowledge and innovative tools, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients. Contact us for your next research project: sample-projects@questionpro.com

Why Research is Crucial for Ad Agencies in 2018

market research

Advertising agencies are facing a lot of adversity in 2018. With more and more big brands like Sprint, Netflix, and L’Oreal cutting their agencies to take their advertising in-house, ad agencies are scrambling to re-route. U.S. ad agencies are not at risk of becoming obsolete, reportedly bringing in over $48 billion in 2016 and employing over 200,000 people, but the growth in this industry is slowing. Ad agencies need to find new ways to add value to their client engagements, and keep profit margins in the green, which is why ad agencies need to implement market research into their strategy more than ever.

BETTER CLIENT OUTCOMES

Before creating an ad campaign, it is important to get background information on the client and their audience. While your client may have given you all the information they feel is pertinent to a successful campaign, research allows the agency to generate quantitative and qualitative data into marketplace dynamics, customer perceptions and behaviors, and reveal intelligence that can help to solve business problems and achieve favorable client outcomes. Additionally, it may shed light on potentially profitable opportunities for the client as well.

UNDERSTAND THE CONSUMER

You’ll want to ensure your messaging and marketing efforts are in line with your target audience’s needs and wants. The more you know about your client’s market, its products, consumers, and competitors, the better you can design a successful campaign. Understanding into how the consumer engages the products, trends and the customer journey is knowledge that is necessary for an effective campaign.

TEST CAMPAIGN

Launching an ad campaign is expensive, which is why it is so important to set yourself up for success. By conducting market research, you can test your concepts on consumers to find out which would be most effective. With online surveys, you can capture real-time feedback, and they are easier and less expensive than focus groups.

MEASURE SUCCESS

After launching an advertising campaign, it is imperative to have data to give your client an idea of the campaign’s success. Sales and other performance indicators may provide an idea of the campaign’s success, but with market research, you will be able to better understand what compelled consumers so you can build off that in future campaigns.


QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 22 million active respondents, who are strategically recruited to participate in quantitative market research and live discussions. By implementing various recruitment methodologies, we make sure to provide the right kinds of respondents for your research. With industry knowledge and innovative tools, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients. Contact us for your next research project.

What Your Veterinarian Should Tell You Before Tax Day

tax day

Tax Day, April 17th, is fast approaching. One of the fiscal perks (maybe the only?) that comes with having children is getting a small tax credit. What about pet owners, many of whom consider their pets to be a part of their family? These furry family members can be expensive as well, with the average pet owner spending around $1,400 in the first year, according to the ASPCA. Good news, pet owners: you may be able to deduct costs related to your pet, as long as he serves another purpose besides providing undying devotion, and you can prove it. Here are 4 pet-related areas that could possibly provide you a deduction.

Business Animals

It’s not easy to claim your pet as a business expense, but if your pet guards your business location, you may be in luck. Dogs that work as a security measure for a business fall into the category of a business animal. That being said, it has to be believable—Chihuahuas probably won’t qualify. Even cats that “work” as rodent control at a business may qualify. Owners of business animals may be able to deduct expenses like food, veterinary care, and training related to the animal’s job. Just make sure you keep records about the animal’s hours and work-related purpose.

Foster Pet Parents

If you foster animals, you may be able to take advantage of tax benefits for charitable contributions. Any expenses you incur caring for foster animals from a qualified nonprofit are deductible as charitable donations, as long as you haven’t already been reimbursed by the nonprofit. The expenses must go toward caring for the animals, such as veterinary care, food, and other necessary supplies. Also, if you volunteer at a shelter or rescue organization, keep track of mileage because this is deductible at 14 cents per mile.

Service Animals

If your pet helps you in a health-related capacity, you’re likely eligible for a tax break. As noted in IRS Publication 502, deductions are available for individuals requiring a guide dog for vision or hearing impairments. Your pet must be trained or certified as treatment for a diagnosed illness or condition (complete with a prescription from your doctor) for the IRS to approve the deduction. Additionally, keep any documentation that shows how your animal was specially trained to help you with your medical condition. If you meet the qualifications, you can get a tax break for training, food, medical care and grooming.

Pet Move Expenses

67% of pet owners recently surveyed by Credit Karma Tax didn’t know that you may be able to deduct the cost of moving your pet. Moving is never fun, and with a pet involved, it can be expensive. Silver lining: pets are legally considered property, so you might be able to include the costs of transporting your pets as another item in your moving expense deduction. If the relocation is job-related, and you meet certain requirement regarding the distance and time of the move, according to IRS Publication 521, you can deduct the cost of shipping your pets to your new home.

QuestionPro Audience has more than 10 niche panels, including our veterinarian panel. Our vet panel is one of a handful in the continental U.S. and consists of more than 40,000 highly engaged, pre-screened veterinarians who provide critical insights. With industry knowledge, innovative tools, and purchasing power, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients.

 

4 Ways Wendy’s Uses Social Media to Attract Consumers

Wendy’s, the third largest burger fast food chain in the world, has been around since 1969. Created by Dave Thomas, and named for his daughter, Melinda (Wendy), it was a brand that was folky and wholesome. By the 1990s, Dave had become a household name, as he had appeared in more than 800 commercials, and a survey conducted by Wendy’s in the 1990s showed that 90% of Americans knew who he was. By using enhanced technology and digital marketing, they have evolved their brand voice to show a more snarky side, which has really resonated with customers. They’ve even released a mixtape, “We Beefin”. Here are 4 examples of times Wendy’s has stepped up their social media presence to engage and attract customers.

PLAYFUL

Wendy’s manages to be self-promoting and fun. Their brand voice is clever, casual and funny, and sets them apart from the competition. This isn’t their first, or last, jab at McDonalds. In their 2018 Super Bowl ad “Iceberg”, they used copy from McDonald’s website against them (“our beef is flash frozen to seal in fresh flavor”) and urged consumers to “skip the hamburgers at the Frozen Arches”.

RESPONSIVE

Due to the internet, customers today are used to constant and instant accessibility, and Wendy’s is extremely responsive. Wendy’s responds quickly, and seriously, to customers who have complaints, and will even apologize for the delay if it takes them a while to respond.

INTERACTIVE

Carter Wilkerson, a Nevada teen, became a Twitter sensation in 2017 when he went asked Wendy’s a simple question. Wendy’s response set him on a mission, and his campaign hashtag #NuggsForCarter went viral. While he didn’t get 18 million retweets, he did get more than 3.6 million, the record for a single tweet. Wendy’s lifted the 18 million goal and gave him the nuggets anyway. Wendy’s got national exposure, for the price of a year of free nuggets.

CONSISTENT

Wendy’s posts frequently, and maintain the same voice throughout their postings. Consistency is key on social media, both in terms of what you’re posting and how often. Even when they are posting different types of content, their voice is consistent, and in line with the brand as a whole. The long-term consistency allows them to keep their audience engaged, and the momentum going.

Facebook Data Breach: What You Need to Know

Facebook has been all over the news this week due to reports that Cambridge Analytica, the Trump campaign’s data firm, was involved in a data collection scheme. This allowed Cambridge Analytica access to the private information of over 50 million Facebook users. We discuss what you need to know about this recent scandal, and what it means for Facebook users.

WHAT IS CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA?

Cambridge Analytica is a data firm that offers companies and political parties services to “change audience behavior”. The company was created when Steve Bannon approached conservative hedgefund billionaire Robert Mercer to fund a political consulting firm. The firm harvested private information from the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users without their permission, in order to target them with personalized political advertisements.

myPERSONALITY

MyPersonality was the application Cambridge Analytica used to harvest the information. It was a popular Facebook personality quiz that could be used to build psychological profiles of the people who took the quiz, and, due to a loophole in Facebook API, allowed it to collect data from the Facebook “friends” of the quiz takers as well.  

FACEBOOK’S RESPONSE

The company’s stock price has taken a beating since the revelation, dropping 6.8% on Monday and another 2.5% on Tuesday. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a statement on Wednesday, saying,

“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you. I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again. The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago. But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it.”

According to Zuckerberg, Facebook plans to investigate and audit all apps that had access to large amounts of information. If an audit reveals any misuse, he said, the developer will be banned, and Facebook will inform any users affected by the app’s collection of identificable information.

FACEBOOK USERS

It certainly sparks a larger debate for Facebook’s 2.2 billion active users—how safe is their personal data? And how is it being used? Facebook allowed a third-party to implement an application for the sole purpose of gathering user’s data. Furthermore, Facebook has known about this issue for more than two years, and only now that it has been made public are they ackowledging their mistake. Facebook has publicly touted their ability to accurately profile voters using the information they give to the site.

Critics are calling for tough new regulations, and celebrities are urging users to quit Facebook, with the Twitter hashtag #deleteFacebook. Users have always been aware that Facebook collected their data, but perhaps did not realize the extent and possible ramifications. This invasion of privacy has certainly been an eye-opener for millions of unwitting users across the country.

Millennials Are Saying Sayonara to the Big Beer Industry

Millennials are saying sayonara to the big beer industry. Core big domestic beer brands like Budweiser, Miller, and Coors were down 3% in 2017, and have been declining every year since 2011. In fact, for the first time since the 1970s, Budweiser has fallen out of the top 3 best-selling beers. While millennials are passing on big beer brands such as Budweiser, that doesn’t mean they’re drinking less. We take a look into why millennials are moving away from big beer, where they’re headed, and what it means for the future.

WINE-NOT?

Wine used to be considered the go-to drink for a stuffy adult dinner party. Not anymore. According to a new by Wine Market Council, millennials drink 42% of the wine in the U.S., even though they comprise only one-quarter of adults over 21 in the U.S. It’s hip, comes in cans, boxes and single serving packages, and millennials love the variety and ease.

CRAFTY BEER

A study of 10,000 drinkers in the U.S. found that 57% of millennials are weekly craft beer drinkers. Domestic beer brand sales have been declining since 2011, which is when craft beer sales grew by an unprecedented 17.9%. Why is this generation so passionate about craft beer? Millennials are very value-conscious, and want to support brands they trust and relate to. Compared to craft beer’s small breweries, the big brands feel inauthentic and corporate.

ROSÉ ALL DAY

The light pink wine is definitely having a moment, thanks to millennials. Rosé reached a valuation of $389 million last year, and grew by 53% over 52 weeks. While consumers purchase rose year-round, rosé outpaces all other wines as consumer’s drink of choice for the summer.

MILLENNIALS, PART II

MillerCoors is focusing on a new demographic that’s younger than millennials, but old enough to legally drink. The 21-to 24-year-old targets are technically part of the millennial generation, but MillerCoors says there are big differences between millennials and this new generation. “There’s just this more openness versus what we’ve seen with millennials,” said Sofia Colucci, senior director of innovation at MillerCoors. “They’re curious and while they’re pragmatic, they still have this genuine openness to discovering and trying new things.”

THE FUTURE WITH GEN Z

A report from Berenberg Research suggests that Generation Z will continue to drive the beer slump down even further. In the study of 6,000 people ages 16-22 across the U.S., they found that Gen Z is drinking 20% less alcohol than the generations before it, and the first generation to prefer spirits to beer. The report says they gravitate toward wine and liquor because they view them as quality products, while beer is seen as inauthentic and unappealing.

QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 22 million active respondents, including Millennials, who are strategically recruited to participate in quantitative research and live discussions. By implementing various recruitment methodologies, we make sure to provide the right kinds of respondents for your research. With industry knowledge and innovative tools, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients. Contact us for your next research project: sample-projects@questionpro.com