Tag Archives: consumers

Is Apple Watch Finally Being Accepted By Consumers?


Not that long ago our syndicated research pointed to the tepid attitude towards the Apple Watch. Right before the release of the much-touted wearable in spring of 2015, our custom audiences in essence collectively shrugged cold shoulders (41% said they were not interested while 18% were not aware of its arrival). Later on and early that summer, in an article for Quirks, we further demonstrated that the iPhone accessory (which it basically is) wasn’t the next watershed tech moment.

Could qSample have been wrong about the Apple Watch, now that it’s early 2016? Could market forces be changing, once again revealing Apple as a slayer of conventional wisdom and even conventional market research?

There’s a case to be made for saying yes to the above questions, although it’s ultimately hard for a reason: Apple doesn’t release sales figures on the Apple Watch. During the last Holidays—with some fuzzy math and fuzzy analysis—the projected estimates of Apple Watch sales range from 3 million on the low-end to 10 million on the high-end. Nobody really knows the sales of the gadget, except for Tim Cook and his band of merry executives.

However, there are hints the Apple Watch might be finally breaking through, as provided by the insights of popular Linked Influencer, Anurag Harsh, in his post Is Apple Watch Killing the Mainstream Swiss Watch Industry?

Harsh makes an astute case by juxtaposing the rise in popularity of smartwatches with the slow collapse of traditional Swiss watches (based on data by Strategy Analytics). The data reveals that smartwatch shipments dramatically increased to 8.1 million units in the last quarter of 2015 compared to traditional Swiss watches that shipped 7.9 million units (down 5 percent from 2014).

Here is a graph from the article demonstrating the changes:

smarwatchers versus traditional watchers


We did our own search through Quartz, and found corresponding data:

smarwatchers versus traditional watchers part 2.png

Harsh further offers this graph revealing how Apple’s stocks have risen while other watch companies continue to tumble, all around the release of the Apple Watch:

smarwatchers versus traditional watchers part 3.png.jpg


Lastly, Harsh has some harsh words for traditional watchmakers:

There will always be a market, albeit evidently a smaller one, for traditional regular watches for the more discerning customer, but the Swiss companies have criminally underestimated the rise of timepieces of the smart variety, and their original display of arrogance towards them could prove to be deadly. No matter what we believe, the numbers are starting to indicate that very fact.

In the end, we agree with Harsh that traditional watchmakers are making the same mistake as video stores, book publishers and PC makers: resting on their alleged omnipotence and disregarding consumer tech trends.

Regardless, it’s too soon to claim that consumers have fully embraced the Apple Watch. After all and somewhat tellingly, the release of the Apple Watch 2 has already been moved from March to September. It’s doubtfully the reasons are due to technical or distribution setbacks.

What can be inferred from all the mentioned data above, though, is that the watch market has become more competitive and more fragmented. Fitbit and other wearable-makers exploded into the watch market with their own products in the last five years. Even before, companies like Samsung and Microsoft already offered a variety of smartwatches and electronic wristbands.

There are indeed some tectonic shifts in the watch industry, and no one is sure who will remain on the surface or who will be cast down to the underworld of the forgotten with such, once-glorious companies such as MySpace, BlackBerry or Yahoo!

The Apple Watch may not be a tent pole item, but it certainly seems to be enjoying being part of a growing acceptance of wearable tech (and thus qSample stands by its research). Also, one shouldn’t forget that presently Apple inspires the most love out of consumers than any other tech company, according to the brand engagement indexes. All of this will at least grant the smartwatch some time to evolve and survive.

It’s the traditional watchmakers who ironically might have finally run out of time.


Top 10 Consumer Research Questions (and a damn fine cup of coffee)

man drinking coffee


Jay Conrad Levinson, the author of Guerrilla Marketing, once stated that the greatest billboard in history would simply have these words: “Free coffee, next exit.”

Imagine the traffic. Now, imagine you were one who placed this billboard, along with a rented space right off the exit where the coffee would be served. In this hypothetical space—while playing a mixture of barista and Coyote Ugly—you would be able to ask eager visitors for their feedback on a product you’re developing.

What would you ask, in this supposed scenario perhaps directed by your inner David Lynch? You would have to ask the right, pithy questions. The rapid coming and going for coffee, after all, reflects an age where the average consumer has the attention span of a goldfish.

Here are the chief consumer research questions that will elicit the exact data for your product, even for a crowd demanding their complimentary java:

1. If I created a product about (problem you solve), would you be interested in buying it?

This question is always a good icebreaker, although a notion called response bias warns that people often say what you want to hear. They key is how excited they get. As marketing guru Seth Godin explained: If you mention a product or idea to a friend and then this person, on their own, tells ten other friends about it, then you probably have a winner. If the friend remains silent, go back to the drawing board. No need to terminate friendship, though.

2. What are these problems costing you?

Another way to slay response bias is to make the cost of their problems concrete. When we’re shown in numbers how bad our issues are, we tend to get real honest real quick.

3. How do you hope (product) will make your life better?

People want problems solved, sure, but they also want a better quality of life. This concept may also include a product that elevates their status in society. Furthermore, in our digital age, the Fear of Missing Out phenomena is more powerful than ever.

4. What’s happening in your life that brought you here today?

This question is considered perhaps THE question to ask consumers, but it won’t work for the Twin Peaks market research situation. However, the inquiry is key for online research. Finding the process of why consumers arrived at your site or store is almost as valuable as what they say about your brand.

5. Does (product) remind you of another brand?

If by any small chance you have a unique product, then life is good…at least until its release and then reality bring challenges. However, if a product loudly evokes another brand out there, or maybe one you might have overlooked, then it’s a good launching pad to analyze the competition or rebrand into something more niche.

6. How much are you willing to pay for (product)?

At the initial stages of product development, it’s prudent to get a feel of value and expectation of a brand. You can couch the value in terms of the value of the product solving a problem in a respondent’s life.

7. What would stop you from purchasing (product) right now?

Nothing wrong with finding out early what resistances future customers might have. This also provides essential materials for the sales team you probably have in the hypothetical backroom brewing the coffee.

8. How do you prefer to receive information about (product)?

As with pricing, gaining a good vibe on preferred platforms (i.e. video, audio, internet) may go a long way.

9. Who, what why, when, where and how would you use (product)?

Using a little journalistic acumen can open up vast understanding in potential customers. In addition, most people efficiently respond to the “Five W’s and One H” formula. Become a hypothetical New York Times.

10. Would you recommend (product) to a friend?

Some say this is the greatest question in marketing, in any medium. A respondent’s honesty and altruism shine through when it comes suggesting a product or idea to someone who might ruin their face or status in the community.

(Bonus) Was the coffee good?

It better be, but we mention this question as a reminder of the invaluable tool of small talk whenever possible. One of the tenets of sales is to get a customer in a “yes” mode by asking questions that will result in a positive reaction. In market research, this can sentiment can negate confirmation bias and other cancers to quality data.

We hope the coffee in this hypothetical research project was a damn fine one. Obviously, more questions ought to be asked in consumer research; and many ought to be directed at the brand itself. Self-knowledge is just as significant to product development. Maybe in real life (yet) you cannot afford a billboard and a place with flowing coffee, but asking the right questions is always priceless.

New Studies Make It Official: Sex Doesn’t Sell

Betty White on wrecking ball, showing sex doesn't sell

There is the famous adage that half of any advertising budget is wasted, but no one knows which half. Recent studies seem to have found some of the waste, and that is advertising that uses sexual content.

Yes, sex doesn’t sell after all.

These are the findings of a new a study published by the academic journal Psychological Bulletin.

For those of you who cannot believe this, let me repeat: sex doesn’t sell after all.


Why it doesn’t sell


The study found that sexual imagery in television diverts viewers’ attention from a brand. In a Bloomberg interview, Brad Bushman, a professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University and co-author of the study, said plainly:

It never helps to have violence and sex in commercials. It either hurts, or has no effect at all.

Just as stunning as how bikini-clad starlets or bare-chested incubi won’t sell your brand, is the reality that there is no “significant difference in how men and women reacted to the different types of advertising.” However, the broader compilation of data showed that sex had a larger effect on males, according to Bushman.

Keeping up with astounding news is the reality that the study’s findings are not even new. A 2007 study from the University College London claimed:  “There was no main effect of advertisement type on brand recall suggesting that the presence of sex in advertising does not assist memory for the advertisement.”


How sex became prevalent in advertising


How did the maxim of “sex sells” become a mainstay of advertising, marketing and even computer hacking (cough…Ashley Madison)? It seems intuitive that one of humanity’s primal urges get placed at the center of any selling effort. However, sexual imagery was basically nonexistent a century ago, with a few exceptions like the Pearl Tobacco brand and the W. Duke & Sons trading cards, both which featured sexually provocative divas.

So exactly what happened to society?


We can probably blame one person in history: Ernest Dichter

Dichter is considered one of the fathers of the market research and the focus group. Thriving in the early to mid-20th century, he was heavily influenced by Sigmund Freud. That meant Dichter viewed individuals as oceans of unconscious, primordial desires that surfaced with the right stimuli. Sex was one of them.

As I wrote in Freud and the Intriguing History of the Focus Group:

It is said that sex sells, but to a Freudian like Dichter the truth is that sex buys. Our sexual urges and identities are with us every moment, even when purchasing mundane items, Dichter thought. He always advocated, not always successfully, that his clients heavily employ phallic symbols, curvatures in design and pleasured-looking models—all coyly hidden in a conservative era.

Dichter’s ideas were extremely successful, making brands like Betty Crocker and Ivory Soap iconic to consumers (with plenty of subliminal messaging). He was the main influence on why Barbie looks like…well…Barbie.

Ernest Dichter (August 14, 1907 - November 21, 1991)

Ernest Dichter (August 14, 1907 – November 21, 1991)

Some experts have even said that Don Draper’s edgy thinking on Mad Men draws directly from Dichter’s philosophy.

What happened next is obvious. The hidden symbols and imagery of Dichter began to move to the vanguard of a competitive advertising industry. At the same time, society became more open and the sexual revolution liberated everyone but Pat Boone. The porn industry became the living archetype of successful capitalism. Eventually, sex was used to sell everything from food to automobiles, and it seems no one cared to ask if sexuality actually promoted a product.



How do you sell beer or lingerie then?


Obviously, sex isn’t going to go away. Yet understanding its power (or lack thereof) could go a long way to making sure that advertising budgets don’t get (as) wasted. As an advertising execute put sexually into context:

If you are advertising a male deodorant like Axe (Lynx in the UK) or lingerie like Victoria’s Secret, you’d be a fool to overlook such a strong selling mechanism. But if you’re trying to sell a lawn mower or a new sofa with nudity and sex, you’re doing your product a serious disservice. Yes, you’ll get attention. But it’s the wrong kind of attention, and won’t lead to a bigger and better brand. Sex, used sparingly and judicially, is a strong selling tool. But abuse it, and you will ultimately lose out.

Unless you’re Miley Cyrus…

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Infographic of the Week: General Contractors & Mobile Technology

Many of us can surely hear the busy sounds of construction outside in these warm months. It’s certainly the sound of money to many. But what are the commercial habits of these hard-working contractors, especially in an age when commerce is vastly centered around mobile technology? Are they marketing online? Do they network on Facebook for bids?

These and more issues are dealt with in this week’s infographic. It’s based on our proprietary study, which you can also find in text at our article General Contractors and Mobile Technology.

Please also explore some of our other primary research on general contractors and homeowners found in our articles:

Shopping Habits of General Contractors

General Contractors and Brand Loyalty

Who Are Today’s First-Time Homebuyers?

This might be all you need for your market research, and if not, don’t hesitate to reach out to us so we can reach out to our general contractor panel. In any event, enjoy the weekly infographic and any outdoors sound you enjoy as we all enjoy the warm months.

General Contractors and Mobile Technology


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The Man Who Predicted the Internet & Today’s Media Landscape

Man's eye before digital, amber numbers cascading

It is a rare occurrence when an academic reaches widespread fame beyond their specialties, such as in the case of Neil deGrasse Tyson, Stephen Hawking, or Joseph Campbell. It is almost unheard of for such a figure to be essentially prophetic when it comes to cultural and market shifts in society.

That individual would be Marshall McLuhan, Canadian philosopher of communication theory and a public intellectual. In the 60s, he held the same public prominence as such pop intellectuals as Andy Warhol and Timothy Leary. McLuhan was honored yearly by hippies with a festival in San Francisco, regularly appeared on television talk shows, advised John Lennon, and later in the 70s made a cameo in the film Annie Hall.

All of this attention to McLuhan, who was basically a dry scholar, was due to his pioneering ideas. One such idea was the prediction of the internet—something only touched upon in science fiction by authors like William Gibson.

By understanding McLuhan’s ideas—these days somewhat overlooked like his past fame—one can certainly gain insights on today’s seemingly frenetic media landscape and market research.


But Did He Really Predict the Internet?

“We look at the present through a rear view mirror. We march backwards into the future.”
― Marshall McLuhan

It is rarely disputed by scholars or biographers that McLuhan foretold the internet. 30 years before the World Wide Web came into the scene, in 1968, McLhuhan wrote in his book The Gutenberg Galaxy:

The next medium, whatever it is—it may be the extension of consciousness will include television as its content, not as its environment, and will transform television into an art form. A computer as a research and communication instrument could enhance retrieval, obsolesce mass library organization, retrieve the individual’s encyclopedic function and flip into a private line to speedily tailored data of a saleable kind.

McLuhan used the term “surfing” for traveling across this new medium, and is the originator of the term “Global Village.” To him, though, the new medium would be more like the Wild West and less like a Golden Age. As he wrote:

When people get close together, they get more and more savage, impatient with each other. The global village is a place of very arduous interfaces and very abrasive situations.

One does not have to go far to see his oracular words come true in the caustic neighborhoods of the internet: anonymous comment sections, social media bullying, Laissez-faire male sexuality on Reddit, and downright societal revolution of hackers on 4Chan.

McLuhan made other contributions to advertising, marketing, and media theory, but it was his ability to see patterns in societal evolution that impressed so many. As biographer Douglas Coupland explained in a New York Times article:

One must remember that Marshall arrived at these conclusions not by hanging around, say, NASA or I.B.M., but rather by studying arcane 16th-century Reformation pamphleteers, the writings of James Joyce, and Renaissance perspective drawings. He was a master of pattern recognition, the man who bangs a drum so large that it’s only beaten once every hundred years.

The article further states that McLuhan “came up with a theory of media generation and consumption so plastic and fungible that it describes the current age without breaking a sweat.”

In addition, McLuhan deeply studied and warned of the darker effects of mass media on the mind long before any therapist or sociologist. In the end, though, McLuhan is probably best known for his timeless adage:

The medium is the message.


What Does That Mean?

“We become what we behold. We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us.”
― Marshall McLuhan

“The medium is the message” may same sound strange in a world where content is king and big data is savior. Yet it does make sense, especially when McLuhan explained that a characteristic of a medium is it being an extension of a culture. Consequently, how a civilization embraces and reacts to a medium is just as relevant as the information it expresses. To McLuhan, “the medium is the message” primarily meant that not only should the content and data be studied, but the very medium that hosts is as well. As an example, McLuhan would contend that an ancient oral society would be more honest and honorable than a writing society, simply because of the more necessary honesty that is face-to-face communication.

To McLuhan, “the medium is the message” primarily meant that not only should the content and data be studied, but the very medium that hosts is as well as it rewires the very brainwaves of humans. As an example, McLuhan would contend that an ancient oral society would be more honorable in many ways than a writing society, simply because of the more honesty necessary for face-to-face communication.

Wikipedia further states on “the medium is the message”:

For McLuhan, it was the medium itself that shaped and controlled “the scale and form of human association and action”. Taking the movie as an example, he argued that the way this medium played with conceptions of speed and time transformed “the world of sequence and connections into the world of creative configuration and structure.” Therefore the message of the movie medium is this transition from “lineal connections” to “configurations”.

Likewise, the message of a newscast about a heinous crime may be less about the individual news story itself — the content — and more about the change in public attitude towards crime that the newscast engenders by the fact that such crimes are in effect being brought into the home to watch over dinner.


How is This Relevant to Market Research?

“We don’t know who discovered water, but we know it wasn’t the fish.”
― Marshall McLuhan

Today, it has become essential for any marketing to navigate various online mediums (often at once), in order to understand both shifting consumer sentiments and even brands themselves. Many marketers and researchers feel that we are entering a fruitful yet intricate era of qualitative research. Companies like Google and Microsoft, who combine predictive analytics and big data, certainly advocate prognosticating future consumer patterns as much as present behavior within online mediums.

Here is an example of “the medium is the message,” from our own primary research. In Mobile Vs. Online White Paper, we found that respondents using mobile technology were far more enthusiastic and engaged in surveys than those using personal computers. The quality of data was superior overall. Basically, the medium was the message, and that message was that respondents were more open and content within the medium of mobile technology.

There are other examples, but the main point is that not only is the psychology of consumers more important than ever, but how it changes like a chameleon in different online ecosystems.

The Global Village may not be the utopia researchers and idealists expected, far from it, but McLuhan would be very eager to engage this Wild West (he left the mass media called life in 1980). That is until he predicted the next great media arrival, which most experts wouldn’t even know was here.

Then again, McLuhan did once comment: “I don’t necessarily agree with everything that I say.”

Infographic of the Week: The Vanishing Attention Span of Consumers

It’s no secret that multiple mediums have given consumers vast amount of choices—and no one has been able yet to discover more minutes in the day. It’s no secret that competition in a soft economy is stiffer than a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster with Red Bull (for those of you familiar with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy).

It’s no secret the world has shrunk with information, but that same information has shrunk our attention spans. What is a secret, though, is the unbelievable levels attention spans have declined during the Digital Age. It’s far more than many in marketing or market research would like to face.

That is what this week’s infographic deals with, based on our article What Will You Do When Your Customers No Longer Have Attention Spans?  The article does offer some solutions for marketers, but until we accept there is an issue…wait…what was I saying?

Never mind. Please enjoy the infographic, and I hope you find the attention to have a lovely weekend.

Attention Spans

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Infographic of the Week: Will Apple Watch Succeed?

Although the store availability of the Apple Watch has been delayed until June, today is the day the anticipated gadget mostly ships out to those who ordered it online (although some early orders may actually arrive this weekend). It’s officially the dawn of the wearable tech era, with Apple once again the glorious shining sun of market success.

Or is it?

This week’s infographic visually addresses the Apple Watch. It’s gleaned from our own study on consumer sentiments towards the new product.

Pre-order sales are astronomical, according to preliminary numbers. However, qSample’s research does detail some concerns the Apple Watch might have to overcome. Additionally, there are these three issues as well:

1. Apple is not a pioneer this time. Smart watches are already settled in the marketplace. Apple won’t be in its customary role as a trailblazer, as it was with tablets and smartphones.

2. The brand Apple isn’t king of the tech hill anymore. According to a recent study, Samsung beats Apple in customer loyalty. Apple has spent immense energy perfecting its image for decades, yet these days its competitors work just as hard in branding.

3. Wearable tech is just not ticking with consumers. As mentioned, smart watches are around. They’re not exactly an established item in any demographic, whether made by Samsung or Google. Also, the last great wearable tech noise, knowns as Google Glass, went out with a whimper.

But Apple is Apple, time after time conquering the times. Maybe this trend will continue with the Apple Watch. In any event, let the data set your own internal market watch:

Study reveals consumer resistance to Apple Watch

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Study Reveals Consumer Resistance to Apple Watch

Apple Watch has been revealed but there is consumer resistance according to study

When it comes to making the release of a product into a cultural celebration, no company compares to Apple. This certainly translates to the release of the Apple Watch. CEO Tim Cook recently made the case on why the Apple Watch is a must-have gadget at a San Francisco event. Will this product shatter all expectations like the release of iPad, throwing cyber-egg on critic’s faces? Or will it flounder like other smart watches, perhaps going the way of the Google Glass dodo?

Data reveals that the sailing of the Apple Watch could encounter some choppy waters—as the much-touted release is still not resonating with consumers beyond Apple enthusiasts. This and more findings are highlighted in a survey qSample conducted with more than 300 panelists in the last week of February.

According to the study, the release of the Apple Watch is split between the general population:

–  41% are interested.
–  41% are not interested.
–  18% have no idea of its arrival.

Of those surveyed who prefer Apple products (31%), the interest in the Apple Watch doubles to 82%.        

The indifference from those who prefer either Android or Kindle could reflect the notion that wearable technology is not appealing, as a majority of respondents admit (39%) . Also challenging, 26% state their indifference stems from Apple Watch being too expensive (18% hold a “see and wait” attitude for the gadget).

Still, Apple’s brand will likely hold some sway. A majority of respondents (36%) believe that the Apple Watch will be superior to other smart watches, while only four percent feel the competitors produce better products. Furthermore, a majority (39%) contend that Apple is releasing this product to remain competitive in the tech industry, instead of just wanting to make a profit (26%) or exploit its loyal fan base (22%).

As for the Apple Watch itself, those who plan in purchasing it claim these reasons:

1. A new way to utilize apps and integrate with other devices (24%).
2. Wanting to be part of the latest technology (19%).
3. Other reasons  (16%).
4. I like anything Apple releases (15%).
5. Its design/fashion (9%).

(17% answered “all of the above”)

The low interest in the Apple Watch as a fashion brand could be further problematic. Apple is diverging from its “affordable luxury” marketing philosophy, offering some models at a retail of up to $10,000. In the online survey, 50% of respondents state they would not pay more than the baseline price of $350. Only 13% of respondents claim that price was not an issue, potentially leaving it in danger of becoming a niche product like Google Glass.

Adding to the seemingly indecision of consumers for the Apple Watch, a majority of those surveyed who are interested (36%) have no idea as to what type of Apple Watch they will purchase (between the Watch, Watch Sport, and Edition Watch). When it comes to the success of the actual product, the results are a bit more split with the panel: 47% believe the Apple Watch will not be a permanent staple for mobile devices, and 38% deem it will be.

In the online survey, a majority of participants were female (57%), while a majority (37%) fall in the 51-65 age group (odd since Apple as a brand is notably considered to attract a younger generation).

As mentioned, Apple certainly possesses the track record to rewrite trends and expectations. It was Steve Jobs who famously said that customers don’t know what they want; they have to be taught what they want. This attitude certainly paid dividends with such products as the Mac, iPod, iPhone and iPad. Will it work with the Apple Watch?

It is too soon to tell, but the study points to Apple having some hurdles to overcome, mainly an apathy towards wearable technology and a consumer base not fully informed. This time, though, it will not have Jobs to educate the consumer. That also could be an issue—as in the study 80% of respondents think Jobs is a superior CEO than Cook.

Perhaps Cook will have to sell himself before selling the Apple Watch.

Study reveals consumer resistance to Apple Watch


Why Consumers Buy Green (qSample Study)

Light bulb floating in sky with tree inside it

Buying green is a rising trend with the clean sky as the limit. It has become a normative part of modern society. But exactly why do people buy green? Like so many purchasing choices, it may seem obvious:

It feels good.

However, it’s not that obvious on a closer look. That is because buying green is different than other purchasing choices, and the difference has been widely overlooked in earlier studies conducted by market researchers. A qSample study discovered the core reasons. They relate to the reality of a third-party being involved in the transaction.

When buying green, an individual is not directly rewarded by product per se. Instead, another entity collects the perceived benefits: the community, the planet, animal population, etc. The reward to the buyer ultimately comes in the form of civic aspects: community pride, social responsibility, investment in other life forms, wellbeing for future generations, etc.

This is known as the Generalized Exchange Model. It hypothesizes that four variables play a role in determining attitudes or propensity to perform behaviors. Those variables include:

–  Feeling of social responsibility.
  Feelings of social equity.
  Perceived effectiveness of the behavior (performance).
  Benefits to the community.

Put it simply: Buying green feels good because it makes others feel good (and it looks good too).

By examining the sample data of the qSample study, and employing qualifying analysis, one can detect a Generalized Exchange Model. First, the data reveals how ostensibly passionate consumers are when it comes to buying green or environmental issues:

–  64% are concerned with the environment.
–  76% consider the environment when making shopping decisions.
–  77% recycle frequently.
  32% feel global warming is the more urgent environmental cause.
  36% believe that conversing resources is the most important issue in the U.S.

On the other hand, the study revealed that the passion for green issues declines when it comes to personal sacrifice or an engaged understanding for the environment.

For example, a question in the survey asked: “If you could choose between more expensive but environmentally friendly items, or cheaper but less environmentally friendly items, which would you choose?” 56% surveyed answered that they would choose a less environmentally friendly items. In another section, more than 50% of respondents would rather increase recycling rather than adopt costlier methods of assisting the environment (stricter laws, higher taxes, expanding public transportation, etc.).

Here more statistics exposing how disconnected consumers are in actually living green:

  15% would pick a company to work at based on its green initiatives.
  41% are indifferent whether a company advertises/promote green issues.
  67% believe that companies talk more about being green that actually walk the walk.
  42% have no idea what a definition of green really is (while 33% claim there is no definition for the word).
  17% subscribe to National Geographic (all other subscriptions to environmentally-themed magazines were 5% or under; and even placing National Geographic under that label is arguable).

What all of this contradicting data reveals, again using qualifying analysis, is that respondents are interested in satisfaction under the Generalized Exchange Model, but aren’t exactly personally (directly) vested in it.

(It should be noted that the study scarcely touched on organic/non-GMO foods, as those obviously have perceived direct benefits to consumers.)

There is nothing aberrant about this type of consumer behavior. The Social Exchange Model is employed widely in society, such as in volunteering, military service, political activism, and others. What is important to understand is the third-party reason consumers buy green. As far as market research goes, study author Rudly Raphael concluded:

Green behaviors can be influenced through a variety of variables: community benefits, social responsibility, performance effectiveness of the green behaviors, attitudes, and social rewards. All of these variables can be strengthened through promotion, especially advertising. Attitudes can be changed directly by using a spokesperson who is highly regarded by the target market. Perception of social rewards can be increased by showing people being praised by others for their environmentally-friendly behaviors. Perceived community benefits can increased through informational advertising showing how the community gains from green behaviors. Perceived performance can be increased by providing information on how green products and services impact the environmental aspects people care about.

Some may see this as an exploitation of guilt paired with ignorance. Yet guilt and ignorance have never been roadblocks to market research, and often tools of it—for better or worse.

In this case, as the planet, animals, and future generations benefit from this, it seems to be for the better.

Statistics Reveal Super Bowl is a Marketing Godzilla

Super Bowl Sunday explodes in all its extravaganza on February 1. The New England Patriots face the Seattle Seahawks, with Katy Perry as the halftime bacchanalia. Idina Menzel will sing the National Anthem, and John Travolta will likely not be there to mistake her name a second time.

The event is truly the Promised Land for marketers—a quasi-holiday celebrating not so much physical prowess but untethered capitalism.

This is truly apparent by simply inspecting some business-drooling statistics, the Holy (Moly!) Trinity of Super Bowl:


Only on Thanksgiving Day do Americans eat more in the course of the year. From recent numbers, the population will eat approximately 1.5 billion chicken wings. Other food data makes one wonder who was the sadist who scheduled Super Bowl Sunday so close to New Year’s Day and its resolutions. They are:

  $50 million on food during the four days prior to the Super Bowl.
–  Beer sales will increase by $17.9 million during Super Bowl week.
–  4,000 tons of popcorn will be devoured.
–  Eight million pounds of guacamole and 14,500 tons of chips will be consumed.
–  5,000 pounds of hot dogs will be sold during the game.

After Super Bowl Sunday, it is likely the deadly sin of Gluttony will take the rest of the year off or at least be the first one at Disneyland.


Although not as popular as the World Cup in gross numbers, the Super Bowl is the most viewed sporting event in the U.S. It actually ranks higher than any other television show. Last year’s game between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks was the most watched show in history (111.5 million viewers, basically one out of 63 people in the world). In fact, nine out of ten most-viewed shows are Super Bowls.

That doesn’t come cheap for advertisers, needless to say. A 30-second spot is estimated to cost between $4-4.5 million, basically at$150,000 per second. This is a long way from the first Super Bowl in 1967 that cost between $37,500 to $42,500.

That’s the type of inflation Patriot ball handlers never want to see…

The cost of Super Bowl advertising is not throwing money into the wind, mind you, for it is as sound as betting on a polar vortex arriving to a Chicago in winter. Our own qSample study revealed the high ROI of investing in Super Bowl commercials:

More than 60 percent of respondents said they typically took some sort of action after viewing a Super Bowl ad. For example, nearly 12 percent of those polled said they search for a particular product after viewing a Super Bowl ad. Nearly 10 percent claim to have visited the advertiser’s web site. Almost 10 percent said they plan to visit the advertiser’s Facebook page.


From a gambling perspective the Super Bowl is a money Godzilla. A Northwest Business Review article stated:

Each year, over $90 million is wagered on the game, and over half of Americans surveyed admitted to having bet on the Super Bowl—41% of men and 21% of women.

Some gambling will be friendly, some will professional, and some will have nothing to do with the game at all (like the crucial notion of whether Idina Menzelin will omit a word from the National Anthem, with or without John Travolta present).

Here are some other noteworthy dollar statistics on the Super Bowl, lest we forget there is an actual game:

  $5,000 is the average price of a ticket.
  $13,888 is what one ticket goes for on EBay.
  $97,000 the amount each winning team player gets.
  $50,000 the amount each loser team player gets.

The Super Bowl is certainly the perfect marriage between sport and television, entertainment and community (an average of 17 people attend each Super Bowl party). This marketing nirvana did not happen overnight, but was cultivated for years once its potential was noticed by a huge portion of the business culture. Even the Monday after the Super Bowl affects the consumer world, as 6% of people call in sick from work and Antacid sales increase by 20%.

They key in any marketing, same as it ever was, is to make a business not seem like a business but part of something greater and meaningful, an overarching narrative where everyone belongs in some manner or another. In a way, that is the American Dream.

That is Super Bowl Sunday.


Superbowl Infographic 2015