- Food Consumption of consumers eat dinner at home more often 56% than before the downturn & nearly the same percentage are eating dinner less often at restaurants. More than one-third (37%) of consumers surveyed report going to bars or clubs less often.
- Buying Habits • A greater tendency to buy larger package sizes (42%) • Buying more U.S. products (28%) • Purchasing more locally made products (25%) • Known products (23%) versus experimenting with new ones • Private label food (7.4% increase in sales).
- Restaurant Traffic 2.6% Decline in total US restaurant industry traffic for 09 spring quarter versus the same quarter last year
- Restaurant Traffic Household with kids, cut back their visits to all segments of restaurants • Over 50% of industry’s decline traced to fewer supper visits from parties with kids. • Traffic was down 2% at quick service restaurants. • Casual dining declined 4% and midscale was down 6%.
- Coffee Purchase 83% of American consumers drink coffee more at home ( up 5 points from a year ago). Coffee consumption pattern did not change as 54% drink coffee daily.
- Alcohol 50% of American consumers are actively seeking out best deals. 24% of wine consumers choose less expensive drinks. One third of beer, wine and spirits consumers order fewer drinks.
- Pet Foods And Veterinary Services 22% of American put a high priority on pets compared to Canadians (17%), French (15%) and Italians (12%). The pet industry is expected to generate $51.6 billion this year - 1.3% more than in 2008.
- Home Broadband home broadband adoption, is up from 55% in 2008. 63% 34% of home broadband users said they subscribed to a service that gave them faster access speeds, an increase from 29% in 2008. A growing share of broadband subscribers pay for premium service that gives them faster speeds. . They are also paying more for the extra speed than they did a year ago .
- Cell Phone Services of cell phone users (19% of all adults) report that in 22% the past year they have cancelled or cut back cell phone service. Cell phone users are economizing on service plans.85% of adults report to have cell phone service, up from 77% at the end of 2007.
- Smart phone ownership continues to rise, with 37% of respondents now reporting they own a smart phone. 14.4% say they plan on buying a smart phone in the next 90 days, the highest percentage ever recorded in a ChangeWave survey.
- Cable TV Services 22% of US adults have cancelled or cut back cable TV service in the last year. More than a quarter of consumers plan to reduce or cancel their satellite or cable TV subscriptions, according to the research, up from 15% six months ago.
- Video Games Drop to $863 million in video games sales were registered in May from the same period a year ago. 23% Sales of hardware (consoles and hand-held devices) dropped 30% while sales of software fell 17%, to $449 million. In June - domestic retail sales of hardware and software fell 31% - the largest monthly drop since September 2000.
- Americans' dependence on the 20% family car remains strong (88% rate an automobile as a necessity) - 2009 auto sales are expected to decline by 20.5 percent, or 10.5 million vehicles.
- Hybrid Cars On February 2009, only 15,144 hybrids sold nationwide, down almost two-thirds from April 08, when the segment's sales peaked and gas averaged $3.57 a gallon.
- Education Planning of high school guidance counselors saw an increase 71% in the number of students who this year chose less- expensive colleges over their "dream school."
- About the report: Food & Drinks Media & Automobiles Education Communications 50 pages detailed report across 8 industries Over 50 consumer studies and web metric trends analyses
Conclusions: TrendsSpotting finds that contrary to some optimistic public statements, for the majority of industries, recovery is still some ways down the road. After initially cutting back across the board, consumers have reassessed their personal situation and begun to employ a new set of priorities. They are checking out private labels and, if found satisfying, they will become loyal to them. Consumers aren’t sacrificing electronics, but are reconsidering their options. Recovery will bring a new age of consumers, much more aware of their expenses and their priorities. Consumers will not revert to their previous habits as those were proven to be unsound. Recovery will come from markets matching consumers’ new priorities.
John Gerzema says there's an upside to the recent financial crisis -- the opportunity for positive change. Speaking at TEDxKC, he identifies four major cultural shifts driving new consumer behavior and shows how businesses are evolving to connect with thoughtful spending.
Those who can capture a sense of community and offer consumers a compelling experience will win in the long run, said Michelle Barry, senior vice president of the market-research firm Hartman Group in Bellevue.
"It's not about nostalgia per se, but more about telling a story and reappropriating some things from the past and re-imagining them in a new environment," she said.
Time of change
The ubiquitous coffee-shop giant is dropping the household name from its 15th Avenue East store on Capitol Hill, a shop that was slated to close at one point last year but is being remodeled in Starbucks' new rustic, eco-friendly style.
It will open next week, the first of at least three remodeled Seattle-area stores that will bear the names of their neighborhoods rather than the 16,000-store chain to which they belong.
Names and locations for the other two shops have not been finalized. If the pilot goes well in Seattle, it could move to other markets.
The new names are meant to give the stores "a community personality," said Tim Pfeiffer, senior vice president of global design. Starbucks' logo will be absent, with bags of the company's coffee and other products rebranded with the 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea name.
In the spirit of a traditional coffeehouse, it will serve wine and beer, host live music and poetry readings and sell espresso from a manual machine rather than the automated type found in most Starbucks stores.
The changes come at a time when retailers, including Starbucks, are suffering from slower foot traffic and lower profits.
Two types of luxury consumers
I divide the luxury market into “must-haves” and “wannabes.” Members of the first group have incorporated luxury into their lives and seek to retain that lifestyle in the face of recession. Very high net worth individuals occupy the top rung of the must-haves. They are largely inoculated from the downturn. Even if they’ve lost a lot of money in the recession, they are still ultrarich. On the other hand, those must-haves who have become financially strapped are now buying luxury items at lower price points or buying them less often, but never compromising on quality.
The luxury wannabes view luxury aspirationally, occasionally investing in luxury purchases in order to touch luxury without immersing themselves in it. They would never buy (or probably would never be able to buy) a Ralph Lauren suit. But they can afford a few lower-cost accessories such as a polo shirt with the logo.
Hold on to these customers in this economy?
You have to figure out how your customers’ behavior has shifted. Can you enable your more price-sensitive customers to continue to patronize you? It’s a balancing act, because you don’t want to taint the image of the brand.
This is more challenging at a time when cash-strapped companies are reducing spending on market research that could help them learn just how to reach those customers. Most large companies in the U.S. are cutting their research budgets by 10 percent to 20 percent. To adjust to this shift, I urge marketers to focus their research on the products, brand, and markets that are key to their strategy. Don’t waste resources on peripheral or potential consumers.
Discounting? is that always a bad idea for luxury brands?
“Simplifier.”a new kind of consumer
Simplifiers predated the recession, but the recession has accelerated the trend. These are people who trade down to a simpler lifestyle than they are able to afford. In particular, they seek to reduce the scope and scale of the stuff they own, because they simply find it too aggravating to maintain and less emotionally satisfying than they expected. Often, as they grow older, they place more value on — and invest more money in — experiences instead of possessions.
Savvy marketers will keep this new Simplifier in mind when creating an argument for their product or service.
Agency: The Kaplan Thaler Group
Review Date: March 24, 2009
Everyone is talking about the horrific economy, so it shouldn't be all that surprising that Trojan is getting in the game, offering assistance in these dark times with its own "stimulus package.
" Sex makes everything better! A new commercial breaking this week opens with the patriotic image of an eagle against the backdrop of the American flag.
As the music swells, the voiceover informs viewers that the company is offering its own stimulus package "to help America cope," the Pleasure Pack. And then comes the bes moment in the spot, when the voiceover wraps up the pitch with the line, "Because we believe we should ride out these hard times together."
You know someone's been dying to get that line on air since all the talk of stimulating the economy began. And you can almost hear the target chuckling in response. Probably the most unique economic play yet.
Published on March 10, 2009
What can you learn from its example? In every market change, even a downturn, there is an opportunity to use the power of behavioral segmentation to make your product or service stand out.
Talk to Your Target Prospects
Each news cycle brings a tsunami of information that influences your customers' purchasing decisions. The smart marketer understands that every change in the marketplace is an opportunity to capture new customers.
How do you seize that opportunity and grow your business? Relying on secondary data or past segmentations isn't a realistic option. Even in these tough times, resist the urge to repeat a smaller version of last year's marketing strategy and tactics.
Instead, use voice-of-the customer research to talk to prospects you are currently winning over as well as those whose business you would like to win. You can't overestimate the value of talking to your customers. Ask new, open-ended questions. Focus on learning:
- What their reason is for buying—how is it changing?
- What their needs are—how have they been affected by recent events?
- What's keeping them from buying?
- What do they think of your product versus the competition's product?
- What would change their perception of your product versus the competition's?
- How do they rate your product against alternative solutions?
Take a hard look at your data and sort groups with similar characteristics to determine which segments to target.
Hyundai discovered that as the market changed so did their segmentation. Significant numbers of prospects were no longer focusing on gas mileage performance, and they weren't necessarily looking for more discounts.
Armed with such customer insight, Hyundai identified a business opportunity.
Hyundai determined that the fear of losing one's job was a high barrier preventing prospective buyers from purchasing a car.
After defining the segment, the company developed and aligned sales and marketing strategies to reach this new segment. By targeting prospects concerned about job security, Hyundai broadened its audience and increased the number of customers who considered its cars.
David Zuchowski, vice-president of national sales for Hyundai noted in a New York Times article, "It doesn't matter how many zillion dollars you put in rebates, or what APR you give them. If people are worried about their job, they don't really care and they're just not going to get off the fence."
So how did Hyundai motivate customers to move off the fence?
Develop Strategy to Target Segment
Next, Hyundai developed a strategy to ease the fears of this segment: The company's Assurance Program releases customers from car payments without harming their credit score.
As Advertising Age editor Jonah Bloom wrote, "right there, is an honest-to-goodness big marketing idea.... Hyundai confronts the recession head-on and does something tangible to tackle its effects."
With consumers demanding more for their money, more companies are cutting prices to offer the “best deal,” which can come at the expense of the bottom line and brand perception. And now, more than ever, it’s important to stand out. Maybe marketers would be better off fighting the recession with incentives that add value and provide distinct business advantages instead. Creating tangible and rational value allows consumers to spend more wisely especially in this climate of frugality.
Craft messages to address the specific concerns of your customers.
Hyundai advertising used straight talk that resonated with customers: "We're introducing Hyundai Assurance to show you the faith we have in you. Right now, finance or lease any new Hyundai, and if in the next year you lose your income we'll let you return it. That's the Hyundai Assurance."
Hyundai’s Assurance program — which promises to let you return a newly bought car if you get laid off.
As of early March, no Hyundai buyer had yet returned a vehicle bought under the Assurance umbrella. This raises the intriguing point about what sort of consumer is being reassured. Probably anybody who is really afraid of losing a job simply isn’t going to buy a car right now. But somebody whose insecurity is more abstract, who perhaps simply needs a rationale for a big-ticket purchase at a moment when the headlines are full of doom — that’s different
* * *
Hyundai's Assurance Program had hit a home run. The company was one of only a few automakers to post an increase in sales.
So here's the question of the hour: Are you using behavioral segmentation to differentiate your product, reach new customers, and drive additional sales?
Instead of simply discounting its already economical line of vehicles, Hyundai is addressing consumer fears with an innovative return policy: Hyundai Assurance. Those who finance or lease a new Hyundai can return the car for no additional charge if they lose their job within a year of purchase. The incentive has helped Hyundai distance itself from America’s Big Three automakers and increase sales 14%, nearly doubling its Instead of simply discounting its already economical line of vehicles, Hyundai is addressing consumer fearswith an innovative return policy: Hyundai Assurance. Those who finance or lease a new Hyundai can return the car for no additional charge if they lose their job within a year of purchase. The incentive has helped Hyundai distance itself from America’s Big Three automakers and increase sales 14%, nearly doubling its market share as industry-wide, new-vehicle sales fell 37% last month.
The Transformation (basic changes that alter life's circumstances) frame is a powerful driver: People who are worried about losing their jobs may be reluctant to buy a car. "Hynudai has taken a relevant point of communications that may not have been true a year ago, but is true today,"
In the current economic conditions, "People want to know they're being respected. Their feelings have to be acknowledged."
As a point of caution, however, that brands that are insensitive to the feelings and emotions disclosed by the visual metaphors may "suffer a backlash".
The possible downside of the ReMax advertising ("it may remind people of poor decisions they made in the past coming back to kick them") as an instance where some consumers "may perceive the company to be insensitive and out of touch…. Well meaning attempts to tap into these emotions could be seen as opportunistic or patronizing that could backfire."
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