Top Research Blogs of 2021
30 Dec 2021

Provoke Insights wants to thank your support in 2021, and we are excited for a great start to the new year. We love market research, and we are so happy that our blog has gained so much traction. Almost 15,000 people read our top blogs of the year!

As 2021 comes to a close, we wanted to re-share our most popular posts.

5. Research Norms: What are they and what they can tell you

The fifth most-read blog discusses research norms and explains why benchmarks are crucial in helping determine where a brand stands amongst the competition.

4. The Pros & Cons of In-depth Interviews

In 2021, we found quite a few clients requesting in-depth interviews for branding initiatives. The article explains why this methodology is so popular, and some watch-outs when using this methodology.

3. The Pros & Cons of Online Focus Groups

As Covid is unfortunately still here, many brands have asked about online focus groups. Many factors make in-person groups not ideal as the pandemic continues. So when should brands use online focus groups? Are there any shortfalls? And when should you look into other methodologies?

2. The Pros & Cons of Online Survey Research

The second most popular blog of the year explains why online surveys can be so advantageous to brands. It also points out that researching on your own has several potential downfalls, such as survey error and inherent biases being so close to the brand.

1. The Pros & Cons of Secondary Research

The top article of the year was about how to utilize the information already out there. Brands often skip this methodology and go right into primary research. However, secondary research has several benefits – there is no point in reinventing the wheel if the data is already out there. 


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2022 Marketing Trends
29 Dec 2021

It’s a new year, and that means new trends. It’s about time we dive into our yearly tradition of looking at what to expect in the year to come when it comes to marketing and advertising. Here are a few trends to watch out for when planning for 2022.

The Return to Virtual…Again

It’s been a long two years of virtual offices and Zoom happy hours. Consumers’ fear of “going out” has made out-of-home advertising less relevant since the beginning of the pandemic. While we may have gotten a slight taste of normalcy over the past six months, new variants of the virus have set the clock backward on a full reopening. Travel plans are being canceled once again, and some offices are extending work-from-home or hybrid setups. As consumers tire of online activities, brands will need to get more creative about reaching audiences at home. Brands should try less traditional methods, such as influencer partnerships or social media contests, to get consumers excited online about their products. These companies need to remain flexible for when Covid cases decrease and people re-emerge for virtual settings. 

Politics Can Make or Break a Brand

Today’s American consumers are deeply invested in their beliefs. Many even think that companies should actively take a stand on political issues. Brands need to be conscious about where they do or do not comment on trending topics. Brands can pipe in on relevant issues in simple ways, like participation in trending social media hashtags or including messages in more elaborate marketing initiatives. In considering their advertising, companies will need to find the balance between pleasing one audience without isolating too many other consumers.

A Step Away from COVID-Centered Ads

Throughout the pandemic, brands have capitalized on the opportunity to plan advertising around togetherness, family, or other sentimental themes. Companies have been quick to mention the “challenging times” in their campaigns. However, moving into 2022, we could begin to see a drop in such campaigns. As states lift some of the restrictions of the past few years, and as the population goes through pandemic fatigue, brands may try avoiding the topic and focus on other themes instead.

Continuous Research is a Must

As the world continues to change daily, so do consumers’ interests, opinions, and attitudes. Research from three years ago, or even one year ago, can be outdated. As consumer sentiment fluctuates, their willingness to try new products or technologies change as well. Brands must stay aware of their audiences as they cycle through the roller coaster of today’s economy to successfully launch new products and maintain the health of existing ones.

Interested in reading more on research trends? Check out our other blogs here. 

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Grocery Brand Equity Study Reveals Fresh Produce Brand Drivers – Produce Business
20 Dec 2021

Provoke Insights’ freshly published research on produce trends is featured in Produce Business’s November issue. Head to page 14 to view the article.

In September 2021, Provoke Insights launched a survey amongst 1,504 Americans. The study aimed to identify key trends in several different industries, including fresh produce, and break out said trends by several demographics.

The standout findings include:

  • Almost half of grocery shoppers purchase produce every few days. 
  • 64% of these shoppers are looking for freshness, followed by brand name and price
  • Unaided awareness of produce brands is low, with about half of shoppers unable to conjure a name. Dole (29%), followed by Chiquita (6%) and Del Monte (4%), top the unaided brand awareness chart.

Overall, Americans are purchasing fresh produce more than ever. In 2022, fresh fruit and vegetable brands should focus their marketing strategy on freshness, which is the key attribute most shoppers are looking for.

Israel’s Future Meat Hopes to Reel In $32 Million for U.S. Cultivated Meat Production Facility – Green Queen
16 Dec 2021

Provoke Insights’ research for Future Meat, an Israeli cultivated meat brand, is featured in Green Queen.

In 2021, we conducted market potential and target audience development research for the start-up brand. The standout findings include:

  • 50% of American consumers are dieting consciously 
  • One in three Americans plan to add cultivated meat to their diet

Cultivated meat is real animal meat down to its very cells, but no animals are killed to produce it. Future Meat is an innovator in the cultivated meat space and continues to push the boundaries as government approval for consumers approaches.

Behind the Scenes of a Successful Insights Panel
14 Dec 2021

Whether you are constantly fielding fire drill requests from internal stakeholders or trying to keep a pulse on the ever-changing consumer landscape, a custom insights panel is probably on your research wish-list. Many research professionals are tasked with answering some BIG questions with a little budget, and having a pool of consumers at your fingertips 24/7 is a game-changer. 

While we all appreciate automation thanks to smart technology, sadly, these panels cannot operate as a “set it and forget it” solution. Here are some tips to optimizing member participation so you can prevent your panel from fizzling out: 

  1. Get Up Close & Personal

Get to know your members, and then get to know them again and again! Approach your initial recruit like you would a first date. Ask a lot of questions (like, a lot) and onboard your members with a survey designed to get to know them. Take inventory of their interests, hobbies, daily routines, and lifestyle choices. Members can get discouraged if they are constantly terminating out of surveys, so these profiles will help target future activities to only those who qualify.

And just like the seasons change, so do people’s interests, attitudes, and routines, so check-in frequently. A good rule of thumb is to re-field a version of your profile survey at least quarterly to keep up with these consumer shifts.

  1. It’s a Destination, Not a Distribution List

Treat your insights panel as a true online community. A landing page will encourage members to visit without being prompted by surveys. Create a destination where they can interact with other members, participate in discussion boards & forums, and view content (i.e., news, tips, lists). You can even share results of fun polls and surveys they participated in so they can see the fruits of their efforts. In fact, it’s not just about cashing out – many members value the intrinsic rewards like leaderboards, badges, and member spotlights. Remember, these people are opting in – so make it worth their while.

  1. Let Your Members Loose

The world may not be back to “normal,” but your qualitative research doesn’t have to suffer. The pandemic got us all comfortable using technology, so why not have your members lean in? An insights panel makes it easy to recruit for virtual IDIs and focus groups, but members can let their voice be heard in other fun & interactive ways, without the hassle of scheduling interviews. 

Instead of members typing out their open ends, give them the option to submit a selfie response. Offer big points for mystery shopping and encourage members to whip out a smartphone in-store to get real-time top-of-mind reviews and experiences. Don’t be afraid to have fun with your research; your members will appreciate a break from agreement scales and pre-lists (and you will too!)

Interested in reading more on research trends? Check out our other blogs here. 
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Survey: Jewelry, Watch Purchases Are Up in 2021 – National Jeweler
01 Dec 2021

Provoke Insights’ freshly published research on jewelry and watch trends is featured in National Jeweler

In September 2021, Provoke Insights launched a survey amongst 1,504 Americans. The study aimed to identify key trends in several different industries, including jewelry, as well as break out said trends by several demographics.

The standout findings include:

  • Luxury jewelry and watch purchases are up from early 2021
  • 7% of Americans purchased a watch in the last month (+3%)
  • Luxury purchasers enjoy taking time to peruse items while they purchase (61%)
  • Women are wearing less jewelry than they were pre-pandemic, but this number continues to increase

Overall, Americans are still rebounding from their casual, stay-at-home attire. Head to National Jewelers for a more detailed summary of the data.